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Warrants: 82-year-old man hit in chest, neck with blunt object by fiancee
Tabitha Zeldia Wood
Tabitha Zeldia Wood

An 82-year-old Gainesville man found dead in his Candler Road home was hit with a blunt object in the chest and neck by his fiancee, according to warrants.

Tabitha Zeldia Wood, 45, of Gainesville was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and concealing the death of Leroy Franklin Kramer Jr.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman B.J. Williams said Monday, June 13, Kramer died from blunt force trauma and sharp force trauma.

According to the warrants, Wood was accused of killing Kramer “by striking him repeatedly in the chest and neck area with a blunt object.”

Deputies went June 7 to Kramer’s Candler Road residence after a call from a family member concerned about his welfare.

Wood told deputies Kramer died in the first week of April and that she had been living in the home with the body since then, Williams said.

Williams did not share what instrument was used in the murder nor the motivation for the slaying. She did not know how long the two had been together or engaged.

The home stands at the end of a winding, uneven driveway off of a busy section of Candler Road, where the area turns more industrial.
Kramer’s stepdaughter, Dianne Payne, said Kramer had developed Alzheimer’s disease.

Payne said she did not want to answer questions that might jeopardize the case, including when she last saw Kramer and information on his relationship with Wood.

Payne’s mother, who died in 2011, was married for 21 years to Kramer.

Payne said Kramer “would help you in any way he possibly could.” He was a tinkerer, constantly building things or working on lawnmowers after retiring from long-haul truck driving.

When asked if there was something the community should know, Payne said, “Keep an eye on your loved ones, especially the older ones. You never know when something might be really really important.”

A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she had not seen Kramer since the end of last year.

Wood also was charged in a separate incident with misdemeanor theft of services from April 24.

Williams said Wood got a taxi to pick her up on Stonepile Road and take her to her Candler Road home.

“When they got to their destination, Wood refused to pay for the ride,” Williams said.

Magistrate Court officials said Wood asked for a court-appointed attorney, but no public defenders were assigned to the case as of Monday.