Skip to comments.Texas pastor charged in beating death of wife (2002)
Posted on 08/15/2002 3:37:25 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
Texas pastor charged in beating death of wife
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.
He formerly was a chaplain at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
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?
i believe he can still repent of his sin. sitting on death row for a few years can make people repent...
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.
Amen to that! Bail for all murder suspects should be denied outright, IMHO.
|TROUP MINISTER CHARGED IN WIFE'S DEATH
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."
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."
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|
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.
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.
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
If he did, he will likely get a taste of Texas justice.....
Outrageous. They should have kept this guy locked up.
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.
Yes, this is shocking news indeed. No true Christian would do such a thing, however.
Explains what? I have known many Methodist ministers and Methodists and none have beaten their wives or anyone else for that matter.
amen - hes out of line here