Man accused of fatally shooting wife in Polk County on Christmas Eve

Ronald Lockett, Jr., 39, was awaiting trial in domestic violence case, deputies say

Ronald Lockett, Jr., 39, faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the fatal shooting of his wife at her Lakeland home on Christmas Eve. (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A man awaiting trial in a domestic violence case was arrested again on Christmas after deputies said he fatally shot his wife in Polk County.

Ronald Lockett, Jr., 39, is now facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the fatal shooting of Shameka Lockett, 39, at her Lakeland home on Christmas Eve.

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Deputies said they responded to West Patterson Street around 8:30 p.m. after one of the woman’s family members found her unresponsive on the bedroom floor. Family members in the home told deputies they heard the couple arguing before hearing a noise described as a “pop,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said they found 27 rounds of ammunition, the suspect’s ID and ecstasy Ronald Lockett said he sold to make extra money during a search of the home.

During the investigation, detectives said they discovered Ronald Lockett was released from jail ahead of his trial for aggravated battery domestic violence and knowingly driving without a license. While he was on pretrial release, he was prohibited from contacting the victim.

According to the sheriff’s office, the suspect violated those conditions when he picked up his wife from her place of work around 1:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve and drove her home. They initially arrested him the next day in connection with violating these pretrial release conditions, possessing ecstasy and drug paraphernalia and possessing ammunition.

Ronald Lockett admitted he picked up the victim from work but denied any involvement in her death, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies said he was later arrested following the results of Shameka Lockett’s autopsy.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family whose loved one was brutally murdered in her own home during what should have been a season of celebration. Thankfully, my detectives found the murderer quickly, and put him in jail, where he belongs,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement.

Ronald Lockett, whose criminal history includes 10 felonies and 24 misdemeanors for domestic violence battery, DUI, burglary and fleeing law enforcement, among other charges, is being held in the Polk County jail without bond.

Victims of domestic violence can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, available 24 hours a day, at 800-799-7233. In Central Florida, the Harbor House offers a 24-hour confidential crisis hotline at 407-886-2856.

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About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.