CHALMETTE – The man accused of murdering his ex-wife with an ax outside her Chalmette home had a history of violence, according to authorities.

Mark Owens, 56, surrendered himself to police after allegedly killing Kimberly Owens, his ex-wife, with an ax on Wednesday, Sept. 27, as she left for work.

Deputy John Doran said Kimberly Owens was walking to her car when her ex-husband emerged from under her home and attacked her. Kimberly’s mother along with an unidentified neighbor and possibly a school bus all witnessed the crime.

Kimberly Owens filed for a restraining order against her ex-husband back in 2014, after he allegedly threatened former parish president David Peralta, who he believed was romantically involved with Kimberly Owens, according to Sheriff James Pohlman. Mark Owens later attempted suicide by overdosing on unidentified pills, but was taken to the hospital. He was not charged in that incident.

In 2015, Pohlman said Mark Owen went to Kimberly Owens house and held her against her will inside the home while armed with a weapon. Police surrounded the home and eventually talked Mark Owens into surrendering. He was then arrested and charged with false imprisonment and simple battery.

Owens is a former member of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, having most recently worked as a correctional officer in 2000 according to Sheriff Pohlman.

He is currently being held in the St. Bernard Parish Jail, booked with second-degree murder.