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Authorities Say Man Kills Wife Then Downs Pain Pills

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

More details are unraveling as Houston County investigators dig deeper trying to figure out why a local man allegedly shot his wife.

It happened early Monday morning in Cottonwood, but the body wasn't discovered until Monday night.

Houston County sheriff's investigators say as they walked up to James Chumney's house, he sat calmly on the porch.

However, when they went inside his home at 4512 Iris Road, the scene was anything but calm.

"At approximately 9PM they found the body of Christine Chumney inside the residence," says Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes.

Monday night, Houston County Dispatch received a call that Christine had been missing, which eventually led them to her estranged husband’s home.

Investigators say the victim’s body had been covered after she'd been shot at least three times.

Deputies say she and Chumney hadn't lived together at the time of the murder, and its not known why she'd gone to his home to begin with.

The couple has two children; a 15-year-old and a 2-year-old.

"Anytime you have a death, it affects the lives of many people in the community. In this instance, two children also, so it's very devastating," says Houston County Sheriff's Dept. Investigator Bill Rafferty.

Investigators say Chumney tried to take his own life with a deputy’s gun, and was tased after the body was found.

He was later taken to the hospital for downing a substantial amount of pain pills.

Chumney confessed to the crime after investigators found the murder weapon in nearby Madrid.

Still, investigators are staying quiet on a motive.

"We don't want to get into this couple’s life. We don't want to get into their domestic problems. We believe this murder was the result of an ongoing domestic situation and that's all we're going to say about it at this time," concluded Hughes

In mid-July, Chumney was served a protection order, but days later it was withdrawn by Christine.

Their two children were with relatives at the time of the murder.

Chumney is in the Houston County Jail under no bond.


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