A 12-year-old boy was at a Whitehall apartment when his mother fatally shot his father there last week, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said.

A Franklin County grand jury Nov. 15 indicted the Whitehall woman in the fatal shooting of a 53-year-old Thomas P. Battle, who was the father of her juvenile son.

Crystal J. Lanier, 38, is charged with two counts of murder and one count of tampering with evidence.

A $1 million surety bond was set Nov. 20 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

A $10,000 recognizance bond also was set for Lanier, according to records. She remains at the Franklin County jail.

Battle was at his apartment in Whitehall when Lanier stopped there to pick up the boy, O’Brien said.

“Following an argument between the two parents, (Lanier) produced a handgun and shot (Battle) numerous times before she and her son left the apartment,” O’Brien said.

Whitehall police responded to Battle’s apartment, 4450 Josephus Lane, at 6:44 p.m. Nov. 7 on a report of a shooting, Whitehall police Chief Mike Crispen said. There, police found Battle suffering from gunshot injuries, Crispen said.

Battle was transported to Mount Carmel East Hospital where he was pronounced dead, Whitehall police detective John Grebb said.

The investigation “quickly led to the arrest” of Lanier, Grebb said.

Police arrested Lanier at her residence on East Mound Street in Whitehall without further incident.

Battle and Lanier “have years of history with disputes among each other,” Whitehall Lt. Chad Wilder said.

There have been “dozens of previous calls” with each filing complaints against the other, usually revolving around disputes over custody of their juvenile son, Wilder said.

The two counts of murder and one count of tampering with evidence against Lanier all have firearm specifications, O’Brien said.

“There are two murder charges regarding the one victim death because there are different methods to commit murder and the prosecutor’s office typically charges all methods,” O’Brien said.

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