Anthony and Erica appears to have had an unstable marriage. Interviews and review of documents reveal that Erica was a jealous woman. Anthony’s upbringing and association with friends, some who are now internationally known rappers (their identifies are being withheld), including having a popular reputation with the ladies, was the cause of many of their verbal arguments. Had Anthony’s attorneys performed any investigation into the case or had Anthony not been deprived of funding to hire his own investigators and experts or not prevented from securing his own witnesses, evidence would have been uncovered and presented at trial that Erica Bell had been verbally, psychologically, and physically abusive towards Anthony.

Their story is tragic. When Anthony learned that Erica had become pregnant soon after they met, he married her on November 11, 2000. It was Erica’s own mother (Claudia Brown) who officiated the wedding. A post-trial investigation reveals that both Erica and her mother were very controlling and demanding women; often at odds with each other. An example of this was the fact that Anthony would often cut the grass for Claudia and wash her three cars, but Erica did not like this arrangement. Erica would even try to stop Anthony from helping to support his own mother. Friends and family members have described Erica as a mercurial “drama queen” with a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” type of personality; in other words as having “a mean and jealous streak.”

      It had been reported by those who knew the couple that Erica was often yelling at Anthony and “was always ordering him around.” It’s obvious Erica possessed an unhealthy need to control the tiniest aspect of Anthony’s life. She did not allow him to have friends or to go anywhere but work without her, not even to visit his own family. When Anthony was working, Erica would call or show up at his place of employment unexpectedly to check on him (sometimes four or five times a day). If Erica wanted to go somewhere, they went; if she wanted to leave, they left. Erica did not even allow Anthony to buy his own clothes because she did not want him to dress well unless she was with him. When Anthony did buy clothes, he had to hide them at a friend’s apartment. When Erica found the clothes he hidden from her, she would rip them up in a fit of rage or pour bleach on them.

      Erica became increasingly controlling, jealous, and unstable over time. She would often accuse Anthony of cheating on her, even with members of his own family. She was also physically abusive. She would slap, kick, bite, and hit Anthony without him retaliating. When Erica suspected Anthony of being unfaithful, she would become particularly violent. On one occasion while Anthony was driving, Erica became upset over something she heard ~ another woman calling Anthony by his last name: “Bell, Bell, Bell” ~ and started an argument about it. She then tried to push him from a moving vehicle and was hitting him about the head and face. Anthony had to strike her to get her off him because he was scared he would lose control of the vehicle. Erica would also lock Anthony in their apartment, sometimes with their sons. She did this so frequently that Anthony’s cousin “got use to it” having to climb through a window to visit him. At least once, Erica even locked Anthony in the closet before she went to work.

      Post-trial investigations reveal that Erica may have also stabbed Anthony. In a family member interview, it was reported that Erica was seen chasing Anthony with a knife while yelling at him. In addition, Anthony’s employer at Southern Marble said: “I was actually afraid for Anthony, because his wife’s behavior seemed obsessive, violent, and out of control. When he came to work with a stab wound one day, I did not believe his story that it was self inflicted. I told him to file a complaint against his wife.” It appears Anthony has often downplayed the violent nature of his wife and tried to protect her reputation, at least for the sake of the children. Even to this day he does not wish to say bad things against his wife because of the children.

[NOTE: The above information is taken from Anthony’s Federal Habeas Writ Petition on file with the United States District Court, Middle District Court of Louisiana, case number: 3:18-cv-00196-JWD-EWD, filed on April 20, 2018; including other sources.]