The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

This Woman Is Charged With Murder: Her Previous Marriages Often Ended In Dark Circumstances


Sarah Hartsfield, who shot and killed her fiance in 2018, has now been charged with murder in the death of her fifth husband. "It's unreal now to see my mother in this prison uniform," said one of her sons, "I've been waiting for it all my life."

By Tim Stelloh —

NBC News

After Sarah Hartsfield was charged with murder in the death of her husband in Texas earlier this year, authorities in Minnesota said they would be re-examining another death: the 2018 fatal shooting of a former fiancé.

Now the District Attorney's Office in Chambers County, Texas, is also tracing information about her previous marriages—Hartsfield had been married four times before—and the sheriff, Brian Hawthorne, has made an ominous claim: “Everyone leaves her

because he fears for his life

,” according to local Houston station KPRC, an affiliate of NBC News.

Hartsfield, 48, has pleaded not guilty to murder and is being held

on $4.5 million bail.

Her lawyer has said that

the woman maintains her innocence

"And will collaborate in the investigation into the premature death of her husband."

What is known about the suspect

Hartsfield's son, Ryan Donohue, said his father, Christopher Donohue, met Hartsfield in Alaska and married her in 1999. They had four children (Donohue and three sisters) and spent much of their time in Fort Hood, Texas. , where they were stationed in the Army, Donohue said.

They were married until 2017, when Christopher Donohue filed for divorce.

Last month, Ryan Donohue learned that his mother had been charged with murder in the death of Joseph Hartsfield.

The murder of six members of a family in California terrifies the neighbors

Jan 17, 202301:21

“It's unreal now to see my mother in this [prison] uniform

,” Donohue, 22, told NBC News in her first post-indictment interview in February, “I've been waiting for it my whole life.”

According to Donohue, a postal worker, his family is following a bleak path that includes allegations of mistreatment and doomed relationships, two deaths and murder plot charges.

One of her sisters confirmed her story but asked not to be identified out of fear.

Her father declined to comment. 

Donohue said his mother grew up in Sedalia, a small Missouri town about 90 miles southeast of Kansas City, and was in and out of foster care when she was younger.

Donohue knew both of his foster parents and considered them his grandparents.

The young man grew up in an upscale neighborhood in Belton, Texas, between Austin and Waco.

“From the outside, things were great,” he said, “we grew up in an environment where the way you were presented meant everything,” he said, “you never questioned anything.”

Chelsea Stahl/NBC News

Here's what we know about Hartsfield's other exes:

Titus Knoernschild

Titus Knoernschild met Sarah Hartsfield in 1991, when he was a junior in high school in a small town in Missouri.

They married two years later and divorced in 1996.

As they parted ways, Knoernschild said, she appeared to threaten him.

“I am very surprised that I got out of the marriage alive

,” she said.

Knoernschild's current wife, Angela, said Hartsfield remained an unwanted presence in their lives in the decades after her husband's divorce.

"She was like a bad penny: every time you turned around, she was there," she said, "she doesn't do it to face you, she does it to remind you that she's there."

The suspect's first ex-husband, Titus Knoernschild.KPRC

Michael Traxler

Hartsfield later married Michael Traxler.

In a brief interview, Traxler said their relationship was "super short" and that she has already turned the page.

"I haven't talked to her in 15 years," he said.

David Bragg

Hartsfield and three of her children moved to Minnesota that year with her new partner, David Bragg, according to her son, after a short courtship.

David Bragg.KPRC

On May 9, 2018, Hartsfield shot and killed Bragg at his northwest Minneapolis home.

Douglas County District Attorney Chad Larson cleared her in the shooting, saying she had "no reasonable chance of avoiding it" because Bragg, she claimed, had shot her.

After Hartsfield was charged earlier this year in the other shooting, Larson said the case has been revived and is being investigated by her office.

David George

About a year after her fiancé's death, Hartsfield married David George, who worked for a gas company in Minnesota, her son said.

They lived together in the house where she fatally shot Bragg, she added.

Hartsfield's ex-husband Christopher Donohue has also remarried, making an alarming claim in court in 2021 that

his ex-wife conspired to have her new husband kill his new wife,

according to an affidavit in support of a restraining order application. .

The affidavit describes a plot to disrupt Christopher Donohue's efforts to gain custody of the couple's two minor children.

A judge granted the order on June 7, 2021, barring Hartsfield from contacting her ex-husband or his family for two years.

When the order was issued, Hartsfield had already filed for divorce from George, her fourth husband, according to court records.

joseph hartsfield

Hartsfield met her fifth husband, Joseph Hartsfield, online, and they married on February 2, 2022, according to her son.

In December, the relationship was in trouble: Facebook direct messages obtained by NBC News show her calling him a "nightmare" and telling a friend she had a plan to get out of the relationship.

Victim Joseph Hartsfield.KPRC

On January 7, Joseph Hartsfield was transferred to a Houston hospital;

he died a week later.

Authorities have not revealed the cause.

Hospital staff members believed that Joseph Hartsfield, who was diabetic, may have had too much insulin in his body, according to a court affidavit.

After his death, Sarah Hartsfield said on Facebook that she felt "numb and lost" without him and had listened to old phone messages just to hear his voice.

On February 3, she was charged with murder for her death.

She pleaded not guilty.

His lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

He previously said in a statement to KPRC: "We are deep in the discovery process and I would remind the public to withhold any judgment until due process has been satisfied."

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-22

You may like

News/Politics 2023-05-21T10:39:07.974Z
News/Politics 2023-05-08T09:45:46.775Z

Trends 24h

News/Politics 2023-06-03T23:27:43.423Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.