A Peeples Valley resident has been booked by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) on a charge of first-degree murder after admitting to shooting her husband in the head with a shotgun on Saturday, Jan. 6.
Based on initial statements to the YCSO, 57-year-old Katherine Herbert told deputies on Tuesday, Jan. 9, the incident occurred after her husband, 58-year-old James Herbert, arrived to their home in the 18000 block of Frontier Road in Peeples Valley from work Saturday evening. An argument ensued which continued throughout the evening.
Katherine told deputies James was aggressive toward her and feared being assaulted. As a result, she retrieved a loaded shotgun from the bedroom, pointed it at him and told him to stop.
James walked away and went into the bedroom. He returned a short time later and picked up a black bag known to contain a handgun. He walked back to the bedroom as he rummaged through the bag. Katherine grabbed the shotgun and followed James, stopping at the bedroom door. She told deputies she saw James, who was looking away and focused on the handgun, operate the slide on the handgun as if loading a round into the chamber. When he looked up, she thought he raised the handgun and she fired the shotgun, striking him in the head.
Katherine checked James, who had fallen to the floor, and saw a severe wound to his head, the news release states. She ‘panicked’ and a short time later decided to drive to Snowflake, Arizona, where she stopped at an area church around 3 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, to pray. She eventually returned home that morning to find her husband’s body as she had left it. She stayed home, slept and cleaned the house.
On Monday, Jan. 8, she drove to Wickenburg, ran some errands, and returned home where she remained for the day. Late in the day on Wednesday, Jan. 9, she called her daughter and discussed the incident, then drove to her daughter’s house in Prescott Valley. Her daughter then brought her to the Sheriff’s station to report the shooting.
Deputies were dispatched to the home in Peeples Valley where they found the body of James deceased from a gunshot wound as had been described by Katherine. A handgun was recovered.
After an extensive interview with Katherine and other factors determined during the investigation, Katherine was booked on a charge of first-degree murder and remains in the Camp Verde jail.