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October 9, 2006

Husband charged with murder

By Jimmy Simms

JIMMYS@CULLMANTIMES.COM

A Cullman County man who has spent the last five days recovering in the hospital from a reported drug overdose, was formally charged Monday with the murder of his wife.

Tony Chapman, 48, of County Road 522 in the Stouts Mountain community of Southwest Cullman County, was arrested at 8:58 a.m. Monday and charged with murdering 37-year-old Mary Chapman.

The victim’s partially clothed body was found lying on a bed in the couple’s master bedroom Thursday morning. Hanceville firefighters made the discovery after responding to a reported drug overdose at the home. That call was placed by a family member who came to the house after it was reported Mary Chapman did not show up for work that day.

Tony Chapman was in the home at the time and reportedly answered the door when firemen arrived on the scene.

Authorities said Tony Chapman became unresponsive soon after emergency personnel arrived on the scene. He was transported to Cullman Regional Medical Center where he was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit after it was determined he was suffering from a drug overdose.

The suspect remained in critical condition until the weekend when his condition began to improve.

He was still in the hospital under guard when Lt. Phillip Lambert, chief investigator with the Sheriff’s Office, placed Chapman under arrest for murder Monday morning.

“We expect him (Chapman) to be released from the hospital some time (Monday). Once he is released, he will be transported to the Cullman County Detention Center where he will be held pending a 48-hour hearing (Tuesday) in front of a magistrate in district court,” said Sheriff Tyler Roden. “A 48-hour hearing is a proceeding held to make certain the defendant understands what his rights are and what he is being charged with. A bond may or may not be set at that time.”

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