Man said mentally ill charged with shooting his wife to death

Image 1 of 5

The mother of a 35-year-old woman shot to death by her son-in-law is breaking her silence.

The couple - both of whom battled mental illness, allegedly got into a heated argument. Police say it led to the shooting by Jamal Rivers which killed his wife Kai'ya Rivers.

"I forgive him," said Rose Henderson. "It may be stupid, but I do. I really do."

Kai'ya was killed inside her home on Bentler Street Saturday night and her mother, Henderson, says that she forgives the man accused.

"I know he killed my daughter," Henderson said. "I believe in my heart that he snapped and that he didn't mean to do it."

Henderson says Saturday that Kai'ya and Jamal who she says both suffer from depression and bipolar disorder had been staying with Henderson. She says they had been arguing about Jamal's infidelities and that sometimes their arguments would get loud and physical.

"When they were good they were good," she said. "When they were bad they were just fighting and arguing."

According to the police report, Kai'ya's friend witnessed the arguing in their basement Saturday, telling police she saw Jamal slap Kai'ya.  Right before, police believe Jamal shot her in the head.

Henderson, along with Kai'ya's 14-year-old daughter, Ashanti were not at home.

Henderson says although Jamal and Kai'ya's relationship was a rocky one, she says she never imagined she'd arrive home to a crime scene.

Henderson says Jamal called 911 that night admitting to killing his wife, before police say he turned himself in Sunday.

Now, awaiting arraignment, Jamal Rivers sits behind bars.

"Bars aren't going to be anything compared to the torment in his mind," Henderson said. "Because he truly loved her."

Jamal is already spending roughly 12 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct, conspiracy and pandering charges. Henderson says all she can do now is forgiving and look up hoping her daughter is in a better place.

"Maybe God was tired of her pain," Henderson said. "God just called her home."%INLINE%