Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Texas pastor charged in beating death of wife (2002)
Associated Press ^ | August 15, 2002 | Associated Press Staff

Posted on 08/15/2002 3:37:25 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP


Texas pastor charged in beating death of wife

08/15/2002

Associated Press

TROUP, Texas - An East Texas minister who recently left the military has been charged with murder in the beating death of his wife.

Pastor Michael Tabb, 41, was released from the Smith County Jail on Wednesday after posting $50,000 bond. He had surrendered to authorities earlier in the day.

The pastor is charged in the slaying of his wife Marla Tabb, 35, who was found in the bedroom of the First United Methodist parsonage with blunt force trauma to the face and head. Mr. Tabb told police Aug. 5 that he had found her body.

The pastor, a former military minister, became minister of First United Methodist Church in Troup this year.

He formerly was a chaplain at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Public affairs officials at Camp Lejuene said they had no information on him Wednesday.

Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith said investigators discovered what they believe to be blood in the bed of the family truck.

Troup is about 105 miles southeast of Dallas and has about 1,900 residents.


Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dallas/tsw/stories/081502dntexminister.b049a.html


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: murder; pastor; smithcounty; texas; trouptx; wifeslain

1 posted on 08/15/2002 3:37:25 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day; Howlin
Just fyi......

He formerly was a chaplain at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

2 posted on 08/15/2002 3:38:03 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: MeeknMing
If he did it, I hope they send him to the death chamber.
4 posted on 08/15/2002 2:38:47 PM PDT by Poohbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
UMC is pretty liberal. Did he celebrate diversity?
5 posted on 08/15/2002 2:41:46 PM PDT by AppyPappy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
First United Methodist Church. That explains it.
6 posted on 08/15/2002 2:54:45 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
What does a little sin like murder matter if you've been saved?
7 posted on 08/15/2002 3:10:24 PM PDT by Some hope remaining.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Some hope remaining.
What does a little sin like murder matter if you've been saved?

Well, that just goes to show that the guy never really was saved at all. 'Cause God knew ahead of time that the guy was going to kill his wife, and because God knew it, the guy was doomed from the start. And no matter how much the guy might testify to us that he really did feel the influence of the Holy Spirit before the murder, we all know now that the guy must have been mistaken, because he's obviously not one of the elect.

How'd I do?

8 posted on 08/15/2002 4:30:11 PM PDT by CubicleGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: CubicleGuy
Well, that just goes to show that the guy never really was saved at all. 'Cause God knew ahead of time that the guy was going to kill his wife, and because God knew it, the guy was doomed from the start.

i believe he can still repent of his sin. sitting on death row for a few years can make people repent...

10 posted on 08/15/2002 4:33:33 PM PDT by mlocher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: rdb3; Illbay; drstevej
That was underhanded and cheap, Illbay. You know better than that.

Problem is, Illbay doesn't know any better; but thank you for chastizing him. I think those of us who have been critics of Mormonism have directed our attention to the theology, and not towards specific individuals unless those individuals were being quoted.

Assuming this guy is guilty, I doubt that you will find many people who would recommend anything less than a death penalty. I am a bit surprised that the bail was only $50,000.

11 posted on 08/15/2002 4:41:24 PM PDT by connectthedots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: connectthedots
I am a bit surprised that the bail was only $50,000.

Amen to that! Bail for all murder suspects should be denied outright, IMHO.

12 posted on 08/15/2002 4:45:04 PM PDT by rdb3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Saundra Duffy
How does that explain 'it'?
13 posted on 08/15/2002 4:48:41 PM PDT by Nate505
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
Your abuse has been reported.
14 posted on 08/15/2002 4:51:30 PM PDT by drstevej
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
This is from a local paper bylined by the best news reporter/writer I have seen in the past thirty years. JACQUE HILBURN'S report
TROUP MINISTER CHARGED IN WIFE'S DEATH
By: JACQUE HILBURN, Staff Writer August 14, 2002
MARLA TABB
A Methodist minister suspected of bludgeoning his wife to death in the church parsonage almost two weeks ago was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder. (August 15, 2002)

A Methodist minister suspected of bludgeoning his wife to death in the church parsonage almost two weeks ago was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder.

The Rev. Mike Tabb, 41, flanked by his attorney, surrendered to investigators at the Smith County Sheriff's Office after an arrest warrant was issued for the killing of his wife, Marla Tabb, 35.

Paperwork was processed, fingerprints made and the clergyman-turned-prisoner was whisked across the street to the courthouse, where he was arraigned by Judge Diane DeVasto in the 241st District Court.

He was released a short time later with no stipulated conditions, records show.

Jaws clenched, a grim-faced Tabb flanked by sheriff's investigators said nothing to the waiting gauntlet of reporters and photographers standing outside the courthouse moments before his arraignment.

Attorney F.R. "Buck" Files Jr. brushed off questions, saying, "This is a pending case. I don't comment on pending cases."

Inside the courtroom, the suspect - clad in a dark suit and still wearing his wedding ring - stood quietly beside his attorney, hired within hours of his wife's murder.

Assistant Smith County District Attorney Jim Huggler requested a bond of $50,000.

"We concur," Files said. "He has ties to the community, his parents are here in the courtroom. They have a homestead worth two times that, and they are prepared to post bond."

The case will be forwarded to a Smith County grand jury for possible indictment.

Sheriff's officials expressed confidence in the continuing investigation.

"We have taken our time and gathered a lot of forensic evidence," said Sheriff J.B. Smith. "There is plenty of it."

THE MURDER

An affidavit released Wednesday sheds light on the events of Aug. 5, the day Ms. Tabb was found dead in the couple's master bedroom.

It began with a frantic 911 call placed by the reverend, saying he had come home from running errands around 5:50 p.m. to find his wife lying dead in their 200 S. Virginia St. home.

"Tabb stated to the dispatcher that the front door to the residence was ajar, and that his wife had been beaten; he added that it looked like a baseball bat," Investigator Joe Rasco stated in his affidavit.

No valuables were missing and the home did not appear ransacked.

But there were notable signs of a struggle, records show.

Authorities from the Troup Police Department, sheriff's office and FBI coordinated efforts on the case.

Autopsy results indicate Mrs. Tabb sustained blunt force injuries to her head, including several wounds to her face and multiple breaks to her jaw.

Her face had been fractured many times, officials said, and there was evidence of strangulation.

Smith County investigators confiscated bloodied shoes from the minister, revealing large amounts consistent with the extreme blood loss found at the crime scene.

Luminol and other forensic methods helped reveal trace evidence not detected by the naked eye.

Officials found evidence someone tried to clean the shoes, the document shows. Traces were found under the laces and between the shoe's sole and upper leather.

A crucial piece of evidence linking the man to his wife's murder was found in his truck.

"... Blood was located in the bed of the truck and covered an area approximately one foot by four feet. This blood was detected through the use of forensic tests and was not visible to the naked eye," the affidavit states.

Tests revealed the area had been swiped out; the remaining area of the truck bed was dusty with spots of dirt stuck to the bed, the document states.

Inside the home, detectives located a square wooden table with a missing leg.

"... There was a dirt track consistent with another leg laying on the floor of the carpet ... it could be consistent with the object causing the force trauma injuries to Marla Tabb," the affidavit shows.

Authorities said they are still searching for the murder weapon.

"We have people out now scouring the roads looking for it," Smith said. "We are still following leads."

Veteran lawmen assisting in the case remain disturbed by the slaying.

"It's just a real sad deal," said SCSO Chief Deputy Johnny Beddingfield. "Our hearts and sympathies go out to not only the victim's family, but his family as well. They are good people."

TROUBLED HISTORY

Events inside the Tabb household were not always peaceful, friends and authorities said.

Authorities, after interviewing family and friends, indicated the couple had a troubled relationship, dotted with instances of verbal and physical altercations, records show.

Friends described Mrs. Tabb as a bubbly woman with boundless energy, who was often the highlight of ministerial and civic activities.

She was an attentive mother, lavishing affection on her young sons.

But her perky demeanor was a sharp contrast to the shy, often withdrawn demeanor exhibited by her husband, friends said.

He tended to the children, but often appeared distant and detached emotionally to them and his wife, others said.

Still others described him as exhibiting signs of depression. "I often joked to her that I couldn't believe they were married," said Joyce Bays, a close friend of the victim. "They were very, very different - total opposites."

The couple was not well known in Troup, having moved to the area about two months ago following Tabb's discharge after four years in the military.

But they were very well known among military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where Tabb served as a Navy chaplain, friends said.

Mrs. Tabb taught Sunday school at the base and was an active participant in the Japanese ministry, military personnel said.

On the surface, the couple seemed to have it all - good looks, a solid future, a strong spiritual base. At the time of Mrs. Tabb's death, they were the parents of two boys, ages 2 and 6 weeks.

Their marriage, like many, was not immune from trouble.

About one year ago, the couple lost a child to miscarriage. They were devastated, friends said, and began trying again to conceive.

Mrs. Tabb quickly became pregnant again, but suffered extreme bouts of morning sickness and other afflictions.

It was during the last days of her pregnancy that Ms. Tabb began reaching out to military friends, confiding darkly that she felt troubled by recent events in her marriage, friends said.

Prior to giving birth, the family suddenly announced to friends they were leaving the Navy, something never mentioned before.

Days later, they were gone.

Authorities said Tabb's discharge was honorable.

Tabb was hired by First United Methodist Church and they moved to Troup, settling into the church parsonage located one block from the police department.

Neighbors said the family led a low-profile existence. Mr. Tabb was often busy with church activities. Ms. Tabb was outdoors infrequently, but was always friendly to others.

On the night of her murder, neighbors frantically tried to comfort the couple's infant son, who had always been breast-fed and steadfastly refused to accept a bottle.

Authorities said neither child was injured during their mother's slaying.

Friends of the couple remain numb over the killing and unfolding criminal investigation.

Donna Sliger knew Mrs. Tabb from her high school days in Beaumont, where she attended Woodland Baptist Church and sang with a music group, "Shining Light."

"Marla was larger than life," Sliger recalled. "She loved it and embraced it. But most of all, as was so very evident to everyone, she loved and lived for the Lord."

Mrs. Tabb's friend Terri Stock echoed the comments: "She always had a smile on her face and a song in her heart or on her lips. No one, especially Marla, deserved to die that way."

©Tyler Morning Telegraph 2002

15 posted on 08/15/2002 4:59:31 PM PDT by rw4site
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: drstevej
What, aren't you going to defend this guy? According to you, anyone who claims to be a "Christian"--even more so, a Protestant minister--is above reproach.

Only "Mormons" and their ilk are suspect.

Abuse, huh? "Physician, heal thyself."

You violate rules on a regular basis with your nefarious bashing of certain religions.

You're a piece of work.

16 posted on 08/15/2002 6:00:20 PM PDT by Illbay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: connectthedots
I think those of us who have been critics of Mormonism have directed our attention to the theology,...

Ah, yes, "theology"--such as calling Brigham Young a murderer, and Joseph Smith a forger.

Get off your high horse. You're going to get hurt up there.

17 posted on 08/15/2002 6:02:38 PM PDT by Illbay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: connectthedots
Oh, and why was post no. 9 removed, pray? Did someone say something "underhanded and cheap"?

Hey, maybe since I realize that it's open season on Mormons and Catholics, as well as Muslims, here on FR, I might as well get my licks in while I can.

18 posted on 08/15/2002 6:04:42 PM PDT by Illbay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
***According to you, anyone who claims to be a "Christian"--even more so, a Protestant minister--is above reproach.***

Document this, Illbay.
19 posted on 08/15/2002 6:07:26 PM PDT by drstevej
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
Post #9 was pulled at my request because rdb3 quoted your comment (post #3) in calling you to account.
20 posted on 08/15/2002 6:11:45 PM PDT by drstevej
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
Was that the one on the buddy of a wife eater you know snakes do that-:)
21 posted on 08/15/2002 6:38:45 PM PDT by StickyWings
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
Hey, maybe since I realize that it's open season on Mormons and Catholics, as well as Muslims, here on FR, I might as well get my licks in while I can.

Actually LDS have done their share of Calvinist bashing Illbay (you may have missed it)

All doctrine is open to inspection and investigation

The LDS has asked to be considered Christians, yet when held to the same standard of investigation they cry fowl

Ya can not have it both ways..step up to the plate and defend your doctrine like every one else here

22 posted on 08/15/2002 7:55:47 PM PDT by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: rw4site
Thank you ! Bump to read your update later !
23 posted on 08/16/2002 1:58:01 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
What are ya'll trying to do, get my thread pulled?
24 posted on 08/16/2002 2:01:40 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
If he did it, I hope they send him to the death chamber.

If he did, he will likely get a taste of Texas justice.....

458 Offenders are Currently on Death Row


25 posted on 08/16/2002 2:10:29 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Phaedrus; gore3000; PatrickHenry; VadeRetro
I thought only atheists committed murder ...
26 posted on 08/16/2002 2:44:27 AM PDT by Junior
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rdb3; connectthedots
I am a bit surprised that the bail was only $50,000.

Outrageous. They should have kept this guy locked up.

27 posted on 08/16/2002 2:51:21 AM PDT by csvset
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Junior
I thought only atheists committed murder ...

Where did such an asinine thought like that come from? Oh! I get it. Yours is an attempt to slander people of faith, especially Christians.

Carry on.

28 posted on 08/16/2002 3:06:51 AM PDT by rdb3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: CubicleGuy
Sounds like something I'd say... Romans 9, Ephesians 4, etc. Predestination is an off-shoot of G-d's omnipotence...
29 posted on 08/16/2002 3:09:11 AM PDT by FenianOfEire
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
Why only $50,000 bail?
30 posted on 08/16/2002 3:23:12 AM PDT by elcaudillo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Junior
I thought only atheists committed murder ...

Yes, this is shocking news indeed. No true Christian would do such a thing, however.

31 posted on 08/16/2002 4:17:49 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
Thank you! WOW. My daughters are asking questions about the future instead of worrying about it, its people like you that make that happen!
32 posted on 08/16/2002 5:32:10 AM PDT by BossyRoofer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Saundra Duffy
First United Methodist Church. That explains it.

Explains what? I have known many Methodist ministers and Methodists and none have beaten their wives or anyone else for that matter.

33 posted on 08/16/2002 5:43:53 AM PDT by Texas Mom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MeeknMing
Unfortunately this kind of thing can happen within any church or religion. I don't see it as a reflection on the Methodists per se. If this Methodist pastor killed his wife it's on his head alone. His religion didn't drive him to it. I must admit though this crime ,if he did it, does expose the belief of "once saved always saved" to lack logic and reason.
34 posted on 08/16/2002 6:43:54 AM PDT by rising tide
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Junior
You know how Jim Jones wasn't a Christian? Same thing here.
35 posted on 08/16/2002 8:59:57 AM PDT by VadeRetro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: rw4site
Wow, what a sad account of their relationship and the
events leading up to this tragedy.......
36 posted on 08/16/2002 9:51:32 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Saundra Duffy
First United Methodist Church. That explains it.

explains what?

37 posted on 08/19/2002 8:16:08 AM PDT by Revelation 911
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: drstevej
Your abuse has been reported.

amen - hes out of line here

38 posted on 08/19/2002 8:17:21 AM PDT by Revelation 911
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: rw4site
Obviously there were pre-existing marital troubles.

But there may be more to this story.

Did this navy man take Larium, the anti-malarila drug that may have contributed to the violent domestic murders at Ft. Bragg?

At least three of the Ft. Bragg soldiers had symptoms consistent with side effects attributed to the drug - one of the serious side-effect being very heightened aggression and inability to control violent impulses. (also tremor, hallucinations, etc.)

I'm not saying there is any specific reason to think this fellow wasn't just a seriously selfish, violent and bitter person. But I want to know if he had taken Larium.
39 posted on 08/19/2002 8:26:09 AM PDT by SarahW
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Revelation 911
First United Methodist Church. That explains it. "explains what?" That was supposed to be kind of a joke.
40 posted on 08/19/2002 9:38:07 AM PDT by Saundra Duffy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah

bump!


41 posted on 12/28/2007 11:10:25 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson