Divorce documents obtained by 10News reveal the rocky relationship between Debra Meltzer and her ex-husband, Justin, and may give insight into the tragedy that happened in the home they once shared.
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Last Friday night, Sheriffs deputies and SWAT officers attempted to rescue Meltzer, who was handcuffed and being held at gunpoint by her ex-husband at a home in Alpine, but she died during the incident, which involved deputies firing shots, sheriffs homicide Lt. Larry Nesbit said.
Justin Meltzer was shot in the leg during the standoff.
The Alpine couple's marriage had been in trouble since 2007, and although there were attempts at reconciliation, they eventually divorced. The divorce file is thick with documentation of their on-going child custody and financial battles.
The records show Justin Meltzer was a labor foreman at an Oceanside construction firm when he was injured on the job. Because of back pain he hasn't worked in years and takes prescription medicines.
Debra Meltzer was supporting the family as a nurse with Sharp Health.
In a document filed in July 2011, Debra Meltzer said, "I can no longer take his drug usage and his placing our children in danger."
She claimed her husband has been a drug addict for five years "and he is so addicted that he passes out while he drives or when he watches the children."
Throughout the court filings, Debra Meltzer described incidents where the couple's two boys said they were frightened of their father because of his reckless driving and drug-induced behavior.
After one incident in El Cajon, she wrote: "It was so scary the boys are afraid to be alone with their father now."
The couple shared joint custody of the boys, with their primary residence being their mother's Alpine apartment.
Investigators said Debra Meltzer was dropping the boys off for a weekend with their father last Friday when he took her hostage, and eventually fired shots at both his ex-wife and sheriff's deputies, who returned fire.
Four days after the incident, Justin Meltzer is still in the hospital.
A representative for the San Diego County District Attorney's Office told 10News if his condition doesn't improve, he will be arraigned in his hospital bed.
Family and friends of Debra Meltzer have set up a trust fund for her two sons. If you'd like to donate to their trust fund, the account has been set up at Chase Bank. The account number is 3010155215 for Jacob and Lucas Meltzer.
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