A murder allegedly involving a Texas man, his purported wife and his girlfriend took an unexpected — and confusing — turn when a third woman came forward, claiming to be the male victim’s real wife.
Karin Stewart, 51, was arrested Saturday on a charge of murder when she allegedly confessed to killing a man she identified as her husband, James Hargrove, after he brought home another woman and professed his love for her.
The deadly shooting took place at a home in the 23600 block of Buttress Root Drive in the city of Spring just after 2:20 a.m. Saturday, reported KPRC.
Harris County Precinct 4 constables who were called to the scene found Hargrove suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to Houston Northwest Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
When questioned by police, Stewart said Hargrove was her husband and that she opened fire on him in a fit of jealous rage when he told her he was in love with another woman.
Hargrove’s 41-year-old lover was at the house when the shooting happened but escaped unharmed. She has not been named.
During Stewart’s initial court appearance Monday, a woman who identified herself as Sandra Hargrove told several local news outlets that she was James Hargrove’s real wife, not Stewart.
According to Sandra, she and James had been married since 2009 but separated in November. Despite the split, she said, they remained best friends, talked daily and even considered a possible reconciliation.
“He’s still my husband,” Hargrove told KPRC through tears. “I mean, we have grandkids, we have kids, we have nieces and nephews. That’s still my husband.”
Sandra said she did not know that James, who suffered from a laundry list of health issues, had been in a romantic relationship with Stewart, let alone a third woman.
Sheriff’s deputies said James had been in a relationship with Stewart for seven years, and that the duo lived together on and off, KHOU11 reported.
James’ other girlfriend, who allegedly witnessed the shooting and fled for her life, told cops she thought that the man and Stewart were in an open relationship, and that he wanted the two women to meet.
According to wife Sandra, James had just recovered from COVID after spending four months in a coma. He was paralyzed for a year, had two heart attacks, a stroke and kidney failure.
Meanwhile, Stewart remained in jail Tuesday on $75,000 bond. She is due back in court Aug. 17.
Court records obtained by ABC13 indicated that she was charged with felony battery in 2016 in Louisiana after allegedly running over her then-husband with a truck and dousing him with lighter fluid, according to a witness.
Stewart later pleaded guilty to a downgraded charge of simple battery in that case.