Family of slain security guard in Augusta suspect domestic violence – The Augusta Chronicle

Family members of Cynthia “Boosie” Wright are mourning their loss and hoping to bring awareness to domestic violence after she was killed in a shooting at her workplace in downtown Augusta on Tuesday, Aug. 23.
Cornell Thomas, 32, who family says was Wright’s boyfriend, was arrested on Thursday and is charged with murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of firearm by a convicted felon in connection to Wright’s death.
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Wright’s family said domestic violence played a role in her slaying, but they don’t want that to overshadow who their mother was.
JaMario Wright, one of Wright’s sons, said his mother was very involved in her grandchildren’s lives, always helping out when needed. Wright had four children, four grandchildren and one grandbaby on the way.
“She always was a helping hand to family and opening her door to anyone who needed help,” he said. “She was always there for her grandkids and always made sure on their birthdays or for holidays, they had what they wanted or needed for school.”
Aaliyah Bell, Wright’s daughter-in-law, said Wright regularly helped financially support family members that were incarcerated. She described her as one of a kind.
“When we first met, we just clicked instantly,” Bell said. “Any time it came to (her kids), she was on it. When (her sons) were calling, she would drop everything and pick up – anywhere, anytime.”
Wright’s public Facebook posts feature her “g-babies” smiling at school and at home.
“(Her grandkids) always treated her like more than a grandmother,” said JaMario Wright. “They all had a nickname for her, they called her ‘stinker.'”
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Cynthia Wright grew up with three brothers and was the only girl, which made her strong, her son said.
“She grew up in a house where everybody had to survive,” he said. “Then she had us at a young age, so she had to start working when she young. She did what she had to do to provide for us.”
Her son said she also valued exercise and getting out of the house.
“We used to go out of town and have cookouts at this little park,” he said. “She loved to go on walks, doing her exercises and yoga in the mornings. She was all about the action, she didn’t want to stay at home and watch TV.”
In April, Wright held an Easter cookout, where she introduced Cornell Thomas, “CJ,” to the family, according to Bell.
JaMario Wright said the family didn’t know much about Thomas’s background because he always kept to himself.
“(Thomas) didn’t really try to come out to get to know everyone or socialize,” Wright said. “He was the type of person that only came around when she was around, and then when everyone else came around, he would go inside or go off somewhere else.”
Bell said the April cookout was her first time being introduced to Thomas.
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“I saw him around when I came over, but he was always quiet,” Bell said. “He never really said anything.”
Wright said he believes his mother’s unexpected death was an act of domestic violence because of their tumultuous relationship.
“There were a couple of signs, like when they would get into an argument and she would put him out of the house or say she was done with him,” he said. “But the next day or couple of days he was back over there. There were a couple signs, but we thought we were going to interrupt and mess it up – we didn’t want to ruin her happiness.”
Domestic violence is rooted in power and control, and early warning signs include insolation and a rapid progression of the relationship, according to Jennifer Frantom, development director for SafeHomes of Augusta. 
Not wanting to be part of the family, or be around family members, is a strong warning sign, Frantom said.
“It goes back to isolation and removing (their victim’s) support system,” she said. “That is really the number one tool that abusers will use early on. Once that happens, there may be other tactics that they use, but usually it doesn’t start out with physical violence – it’s emotional and mental.”
In 2016, Thomas was sentenced to 10 years in prison for domestic violence, assault and weapons charges in Richmond County. He served one year of the sentence, according to records.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has not charged Thomas with domestic violence and no charges have been filed by the district attorney in the Wright case.
Knowing what he witnessed between his mom and Thomas, JaMario Wright said he now realizes domestic violence is a big issue.
“When it happens to you, it feels different,” he said. “You really realize that not all people are good… People in situations like that – get out of there, let someone know before it comes down to stuff like this.”
Frantom said it is fairly common for friends and family to be caught off-guard after a violent incident because they may not have known how serious the situation was.
“That’s kind of how it goes,” she said. “It’s very difficult for victims that are still in a relationship to reach out for help. They may not reach out because they do love this person, and even if they’re at a point where they want to leave, a lot of times they don’t really know how. Typically, with abusive partners, it’s not going to be that easy to just walk away.”
In the days following Wright’s death, her family has been gathering to cook together and grieve. Wright said he feels peace in knowing an arrest has been made.
“It’s definitely given our family closure,” he said. “I can finally sleep peacefully at night and not feel like we have to watch our backs. I feel safer now that they did catch him and he’s off the streets.”
Wright plans on attending all court hearings and the trial, to ensure his mother gets justice.
“I will make sure I will be there at trial to make sure he gets the max,” he said.
SafeHomes of Augusta has a 24/7 hotline number, staffed by a live person, for victims of domestic violence seeking help. All of the organization’s services are free and confidential. 24 Hour Crisis Hotline: 706-736-2499.


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