Augustine Murdered: Husband Arrested

The husband of the late Nevada State
Controller Kathy Augustine has been jailed in Virginia and charged
with her murder.
Reno police say 42-year-old Chaz Higgs was arrested late today
in Hampton, Virginia, on a first-degree murder warrant. He
apparently was there to visit his father and stepmother.
Reno police spokesman Steve Frady says the warrant was issued on
Wednesday after a coroner's autopsy and results of toxicology tests
found a powerful drug in Augustine's system that would have
paralyzed her.
Augustine was 50 when she died July 11th at Washoe Medical
Center in Reno.
Three days earlier, she was found unconscious in her Reno home
by Higgs -- who's a critical care nurse at Carson-Tahoe Regional
Medical Center.
Higgs said she died of a massive heart attack. But police said
Augustine had no history of heart problems and that the autopsy did
not suggest she had heart disease.
Three days after her death, Higgs tried to commit suicide. He
was released from a hospital later that day, and didn't attend his
wife's funeral the following day.
Augustine's brother, Phil Alfano, says family members had been
suspicious of Higgs all along.
He told The Associated Press, quoting now, "We're saddened but
we're not surprised."
Frady says Higgs had been on the East Coast off and on since the
funeral.
F-B-I agents pulled Higgs over while he was in a vehicle in
Hampton about six p-m local time then waited for Hampton police to
arrive on scene and arrest him.
Investigators say medical experts told them that the drug found
in Augustine's system -- pronounced SUCK-suh-COH-leen -- paralyzes
muscles in the body within several minutes, including the muscles
used for breathing. The drug is used in hospital operating rooms,
emergency rooms and intensive care units to facilitate placement of
breathing tubes in patients.


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