Friends say woman accused of concealing man's slaying is victim - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Friends: wife of man charged with murder was abused

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EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Kimberly Moretz walked out of the Effingham County Jail on a $25,000 bond early Wednesday morning.

She's accused of concealing the murder of missing Savannah man Charlie Ray. Her husband, Chad Moretz was shot and killed by police during a standoff when he held Kimberly hostage in Rincon.

Friends say Moretz was taken to a shelter for abused women after being released.

The friend told WTOC Moretz was severely abused by her husband for years and that Chad Moretz told Kimberly if she told anyone about Charlie Ray's murder, he would kill her. The friend says Chad Moretz told Kimberly if she called police he would shoot the deputies when they got to their Rincon home.

Friends say she was too scared to speak out.

Cheryl Branch, the executive director of Safe Shelter in Savannah, is not familiar with Moretz's situation but says women in abusive relationships are often afraid for their lives.

"If she was aware that he committed these terrible crimes, knowing he was capable of something like that, that would just reinforce her fear that if he is capable of doing something like that then why wouldn't he kill me? Why wouldn't he shoot the police? Clearly he is dangerous and unstable and should be feared," Branch said.

Branch says people in healthy relationships can't understand what it's like to be severely abused.

"You can't put yourself in that person's shoes. But if you can close your eyes for a second and imagine being scared to go home, scared to go to sleep, scared of every waking moment. That is horrible. And when you are fearful people are going to be killed and you're going to be responsible? That is unimaginable stress," Branch said.

According to the judge's bond order, Moretz cannot leave Effingham County while she is out on bond.

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