HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The morning of January 13 began like so many others for Mary Lou Nimmons. She sent her younger brother, Chevey Leal, a text.
"I texted him at 9:30 just to say good morning, and little did I know this was happening," said Nimmons, her voice trailing off softly.
What Nimmons didn't know was that morning, Leal had driven to his Misson Bend-area home to get some personal items. According to investigators, Leal got in an argument with his estranged wife Jessica outside their house. Investigators say Jessica Leal's boyfriend, Avery Jones, was inside the home. Court records show Jessica Leal allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife to threaten her husband. At one point, investigators believe Leal held her husband down on the ground with the knife. They say that's when Leal's boyfriend Avery Jones allegedly shot and killed Chevey Leal.
"He left a very big hole in our lives," said Nimmons, who just buried her brother last weekend. "Not only for my family but for his children."
While the boyfriend, Jones, was an immediate suspect, Jessica Leal was only questioned on January 13. Court records show Jones was charged murder two days later, but Leal remained free. She publically mourned her husband's death, even attended his funeral last weekend. This Wednesday, Leal was arrested and charged with her husband's murder.
"I don't even know the emptiness he left us with. A (murder) charge is good for justice, but it's not going to bring my brother back," said Nimmons, who says her brother leaves behind six children between the ages 4 and 20.
Family members say even though he separated with his wife last December, he was a dedicated dad.
"He was an awesome father, the Mr. Mom kind of guy, did everything for the kids," Nimmons said.
Nimmons says she knew her sister-in-law may have been involved with another man. However, she was uncertain about the depth of the couple's problems. Now, with her brother gone and six children without a dad, she just hopes the justice system works.
"All I can say is I don't understand, we're all hurting and we all are facing a great loss," she said.