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Murder Victim's Brother Says Robert Seymore 'Had a Temper'

In an interview with Patch, David Harris, a retired Alameda County Sheriff's sergeant, recounts the days before the murder of his sister by her husband, who then killed himself.

David Harris, the brother of murder victim Amber Harris Seymore, says her husband, Robert Seymore, had a temper. Harris talked to Patch about the days leading up to the murder-suicide of the couple from the Tri-Valley.

On Dec. 3, Robert Seymore, a retired BART canine officer, in the couple's North Carolina home.

Harris said the couple had been married for 16 years and that during at least 13 of those years, Robert Seymore had been verbally abusive to his wife.

"He would make jokes, and she would be the butt of them," Harris said. "He used to make her feel stupid."

Harris, a retired Alameda County Sheriff's sergeant who lives in Nashville, Tenn., said that the family was unaware of physical violence during the marriage except for an incident Amber Seymore told Holly Springs Police during a 9-1-1 call the day after Thanksgiving in North Carolina. Amber Seymore had called  to ask the police to come and keep the peace, as she planned to ask her husband to move out of the house.

During that call, Amber Seymore told police she planned on "kicking him out" because she had discovered he had been cheating on her and she didn't know what he might do when she told him to leave. Click here to listen to the full call.

"My husband is an ex-cop. My husband has a gun on him and a bad temper," she said during the call.

Amber Seymore told the dispatcher that the last time she confronted Robert about an issue a few months prior, he shoved her while she was holding the kids. She asked if the police officer responding could stay out by the street, "In case something happens."

According to Harris, the couple had been in counseling when they moved from their home on Jessica Street in Livermore to North Carolina to "get a fresh start" and "to get away from the rat race of California" two years ago.

Harris said his sister, who was a mother of three, attended Monte Vista High School in Danville and Waylen Baptist University before getting her master's degree at University of Phonenix by going to school on the weekends.

Harris confirmed the couple lived briefly in Pleasanton and attended Cornerstone Church in Livermore.

"They seemed really happy after the move," he said.

But Harris said that soon after the move his sister discovered that her husband had racked up more than $20,000 worth of pornography and gambling debts despite having recently paid off their bills.

"Amber had them in counseling and got him [Robert] in a support group for that," Harris said.

On Thanksgiving, Harris' wife told him that she felt something more was going on between the couple.

"The day after Thanksgiving, most of our family went out to a movie," he said. "I got several calls on my cell phone to call Amber. Amber had found out Robert had been cheating again, and she was going to kick him out. I told her to call for the police to be in the area and for her to lock his guns up in the safe."

Harris says that when his sister told her husband to leave, he took his stuff from the house and left calmly.

"We stayed with Amber, and she finally told us to go home," he said. "Later that week, around Wednesday or Thursday, Amber said Rob had called her and was very distraught. I was texting him to come clean with Amber about everything he had done so they could really work on things. It was then that Rob confessed to Amber that he had been sleeping with other women, including women in the neighborhood, since they had been married. He admitted to being a sex addict."

Harris says he does not know exactly what happened the day his sister was shot and killed by her husband.

"Something happened in that house that day," Harris said. "Something set him off. It is possible he realized it was really over."

Harris said police told him Robert Seymore had composed a text to Harris the day of the murder-suicide, apologizing for "all he had done." It was never sent.

Harris and his wife have taken in the couple's three children, all under age 9. Harris says Robert Seymore's family lives on the East Coast and that some of the Harris family still lives in Pleasanton.

The Holly Springs Medical Examiner determined that Robert Seymore shot his wife before shooting and killing himself on Dec. 3. The couple was found by Amber Seymore's stepmother upstairs in their home. 

Amber's friends and acquaintances are mourning her loss online. Read more about what they are saying about Amber Lynette Harris Seymore online.

Patch reader Meghan Harvey wrote:

"Family and friends of the Seymore family have set up an account at Wells Fargo in the name of 'Amber Seymore' to help out the kids and Amber's brother, who has taken in all three of the Seymore children."

Those who wish to donate can go to any Wells Fargo in the United States.

david December 12, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Domestic violence is nothing to discount, get help when it first surfaces as it doesn't get better by itself. God bless the children left behind and the Harris' for taking them in.
K December 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM
We're collecting mileage donations on United airlines to fly the Harris family and Seymore children back to Pleasanton for the holidays and memorial. If you can donate miles, please email Kristin Werder at kwerder@sbcglobal.net. Thank you
anon December 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Our thoughts and prayers to the Harris family and Seymore children. Having been in your shoes in the past, I know what you are going through. God Bless.
Terry December 13, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Darwin Award nominee.
Rhonda Burrow January 03, 2013 at 04:32 AM
I am very sorry for the loss of a wonderful person. I live in Livermore and owned a home daycare. I cared for Robert for years and also took care of Alex for awhile. I am so sad to here these children have to grow up without their mom. These kids were very close to their mother. I pray for this family to be strong enough to pull this most difficult time. God bless

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