Husband kills wife, then self

Published 11:57 am Friday, July 27, 2012

WINTON – An apparent domestic situation ended in two deaths Friday morning.

Meanwhile, a five-year-old member of the family has been airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where she is being treated for a gunshot wound to her abdomen.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said 56-year-old James William McCutcheon Jr. and his estranged 40-year-old wife, Catherine, died in what appears to be a murder-suicide.

Vaughan said a 9-1-1 call was placed to his office at 9:42 a.m. Friday. He said the caller stated that a man had shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself.

“The husband and wife were deceased upon our arrival,”Vaughan said. “We immediately focused our attention on the little girl, who had survived the shooting, in an effort to get her quickly to the hospital. We do know that the bullet that struck the child did exit her body, so that’s at least a good sign.”

Vaughan said Mrs. McCutcheon died as the result of a gunshot wound to the chest. Mr. McCutcheon died of a gunshot to his head.

The investigation, according toVaughan, revealed that Mrs. McCutcheon was at her residence, located at104 Whitley Lane in the Tuscarora community south of Winton, to move her possessions into a rented U-Haul.

“At that time, Mr. McCutcheon came out of his residence, located across the street at104 Whitley Circle, and had a conversation with his wife at her residence,”Vaughan said. “He then walked back to his residence, and then returned to inside her residence at which time three shots were fired.”

Vaughan said it was obvious that the couple was separated as they resided at different homes, but he did not know if it was a legal separation.

“Mrs. McCutcheon had her uncle with her at her residence; he heard the three shots,” Vaughan said. “Because he didn’t have a telephone he got someone there nearby to make the 9-1-1 call.”

Vaughan said the uncle was not shot at nor was he injured in any way during the incident.

The Sheriff added that he did not know if the couple were natives of the local area. He said it was to his understanding that Mrs. McCutcheon was employed at Roanoke-ChowanCommunity College, but had recently resigned.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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