Texas Woman Charged After Husband Dies of ‘Suspicious Illness,’ Previously Investigated in Ex-Husband’s Death

A Texas woman who was previously investigated in connection with the death of an ex-husband now faces a murder charge in connection with her current husband’s “suspicious death.”

Sarah Jean Hartsfield, 48, was indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 3 and is being held on $5 million bond in Chambers County, according to a press release from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office.

It is not immediately clear if she has entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on her behalf.

The sheriff’s office said that its 911 dispatch had received a call from Baytown Houston Methodist Hospital on Jan. 7 around 6:30 p.m. regarding the suspicious illness of an emergency room patient who was brought via ambulance from Beach City.

Deputies arrived at the hospital and began investigating “due to inconsistencies in the information provided by the hospital staff,” the release states. Other investigators were also called in.

“During Detective Rocz’s investigation, additional inconsistencies as well as other determining factors made the illness appear more suspicious in nature,” the sheriff’s office said. “Sadly, the patient identified as Joseph Hartsfield of Beach City, died as the result of what the Sheriff’s Office believes to be foul play.”

Officials told ABC 13 that 46-year-old Joseph suffered from diabetes and his insulin levels were extremely high several hours before the 911 call allegedly made by his wife, Sarah. His glucose monitor had also sounded an alarm for some time, officials allege, according to the outlet.

Authorities said there was “enough probable cause” to meet with the county district attorney, who then convened a grand jury.

An obituary for Joseph says on Jan. 15 he “passed away peacefully due to complications of an ischemic stroke, with his loving wife at his side.” An official cause of death has not been released by authorities.

Though details remained scarce in the case, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The International Business Times that it is aware that Sarah was investigated in 2018 by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota after her ex-husband was shot and killed.

She was reportedly never charged in connection with the case.

The shooting death of David Wayne Bragg, 43, remains under investigation, according to an updated Facebook post from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, which added that it remains an “isolated incident.”

Chambers County Sheriff Hawthorne believes there’s no similarities between the two cases, according to IBT.

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