Day before wife's murder, suspect spoke of 'imaginary construction projects'

Rodney Kimsey

Rodney Kimsey

LAWRENCEVILLE — The day before he’s accused of shooting his wife at least seven times, Rodney Alan Kimsey II was performing “imaginary construction projects,” moving things that weren’t really there around the coffee table and stressing his need for triangles, strings, balls and quivers.

“As it was explained to me,” Gwinnett County police Detective Greg Heller said, “he would talk about changing things and building things that didn’t appear to be based in reality.”

Heller testified during a preliminary hearing Thursday in Gwinnett magistrate court, outlining the department’s evidence thus far in the case of Melissa Kimsey’s May 28 murder. Police believe her husband shot and killed her sometime before 4:30 a.m. that day, awakening the couple’s 13-year-old daughter by smashing things off their Hoschton home’s second-story foyer balcony.

When officers later found Rodney Kimsey outside a neighbor’s house, he was shirtless and had blood “all over” his body, Heller said. Amid incoherent rambling, he reportedly admitted to the neighbor that he had killed his wife.

What may have triggered his alleged actions got both clearer and more complicated during Thursday’s hearing.

Heller testified that Rodney Kimsey’s parents said he had been prescribed Xanax, a narcotic anti-anxiety drug, and was taking “a large amount” of it until about six days prior to the murder. The detective said he’d yet to see the toxicology report that would determine if Kimsey had been under the influence of drugs on the morning of May 28.

Kimsey was at Gwinnett Medical Center for two days following his arrest despite not having any significant physical injuries. Heller said he had not yet seen the corresponding medical records.

No Xanax was found in the family’s home on Platinum Court.

In an interview, Kimsey reportedly told investigators that he vaguely remembered throwing and breaking items the night of his wife’s murder, but not why he was doing it or anything that happened beforehand. His “last solid memory” was from the previous Friday, Heller testified.

Kimsey also told police that he had been upset with his wife because he thought she was being too lenient with their daughter. A neighbor previously told the Daily Post that the couple was having financial issues.

The .357 revolver that Kimsey’s daughter identified as his gun was found in the master bathroom, not far from where Melissa Kimsey was discovered naked and bleeding. Heller said the medical examiner’s office has determined that Melissa Kimsey was shot “seven or eight” times, mostly in the abdomen.

The Kimseys’ daughter, who called 911 after being awoken, originally told the emergency dispatcher that her mother had been “gutted.”

Charges of felony murder and aggravated assault against Rodney Kimsey were bound over to superior court during Thursday’s hearing. He remains in the Gwinnett County jail without bond.