OKLAHOMA CITY – A woman found beaten to death in a motor home recently sought a protective order against her estranged husband, an ex-convict who was charged Tuesday with killing her and kidnapping her 7-year-old daughter.
Comanche County prosecutors charged Lester William Hobbs, 46, with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the killing of Tonya Hobbs and disappearance of her daughter, Aja Daniell Johnson.
Hobbs' body was discovered Sunday inside Lester Hobbs' motor home in Geronimo, a small town about 100 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Lester Hobbs and the missing girl, who is not his biological daughter, were last seen by relatives Saturday evening.
"He has gone from being a person of interest in this case to a criminal defendant," Comanche County District Attorney Fred Smith said.
The medical examiner's office has not determined the official cause of death, but charging documents show Tonya Hobbs suffered blunt force trauma to her body.
In August, Tonya Hobbs sought a protective order against Lester Hobbs, writing in a petition that he threatened her daughters and vowed to kill her if she ever left him.
"My husband has threatened to hit my daughters in the head with a hammer and kill them," she wrote.
An emergency protective order was granted, but the case was dismissed two weeks later when both Tonya Hobbs and her husband failed to appear in court, records show.
Tonya Hobbs traveled with her two daughters to Geronimo on Saturday in an attempt to reconcile the relationship with Lester Hobbs, said Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown.
Tonya Hobbs' older daughter stayed with Hobbs' relatives and is not missing.
Aja's father, J.J. Johnson of Oklahoma City, delivered a tearful plea Monday for the girl's safe return.
"Please Lester, if you're listening, anybody who knows where she is, please take her to a safe spot," Johnson said. "I'll see that she's picked up with no questions asked.
"She's only been seven years old for 20 days."
Oklahoma authorities issued an Amber Alert on Monday and asked law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout in Texas, California and Oregon, where Lester Hobbs has relatives.
Lester Hobbs was last seen driving his wife's 1992 Toyota Paseo with the Oklahoma license plate number 577-BPW. The car has no hubcaps and has plastic covering the rear passenger window.
"Time is not working in our favor in this situation. We need to find this girl as soon as possible," Brown said.
Lester Hobbs has several tattoos, including the letters "LOVE" stitched on the fingers of his left hand and "ROSE" on the fingers of his right hand.
Aja Johnson is 4 feet tall and weighs about 65 pounds. She has brown, shoulder length hair and brown eyes, officials said.