Woman accused of murder in ex-husband's death

Woman accused of murder in ex-husband's death
John David Hart (Source: Facebook)
John David Hart (Source: Facebook)

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The ex-wife of a Region 8 man is accused of killing him.

A probable cause hearing for Kathy J. Hart was held Thursday. She is accused of murder in the death of ex-husband, John D. Hart.

Kathy Hart was arrested on charges of murder in the first degree, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

The arrest follows the discovery of John Hart's body alongside Harper Cemetery Road Tuesday.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Arkansas State Police investigators found a blood trail from the body leading to the driveway of 965 Harper Cemetery Road in Maynard, the residence of Kathy Hart.

A search warrant was obtained and officers interviewed Hart.

During the interview, Hart admitted to police that on Monday, Nov. 9 around 11 p.m. she shot her ex-husband, according to court documents.

She continued to state that John Hart had been staying with her for "two or three days." Hart claims that on the last night he stayed there he "beat her, head butted her several times on the forehead" along with other actions of assault.

Hart also claimed her ex-husband tried to rape her.

Then she said her teenage daughter came out of the bedroom and told him to stop and tried to pull him off.

Hart said she had an order of protection against John Hart in the past. She told police Hart threatened to kill her.

Kathy Hart reportedly took agents to where she shot her ex-husband. She said she shot him twice.

Court documents state police found a 20-gauge shotgun in a Buick Rendezvous outside the residence. Hart told police about the gun's location.

After being shot, Kathy Hart said John Hart fell in the floor near the back door and she pushed him out the back door.

Hart told police she tied a cord to her ex-husband's waist and dragged him with a pickup truck down Harper Cemetery Road "until the cable came loose."

Police report that Hart then rolled the body to the side of the road and "put a cushion on his head." The woman then returned to the residence to clean up.

The affidavit states ASP investigators were not able to find any injuries to Kathy Hart's body indicating any significant fight took place before the shooting.

The teenage daughter was interviewed by police and told investigators the two had argued all afternoon because her father "had used the last of the meth."

Also, she said there was no physical altercation between the two on the night of the shooting. However, there had been fights in the past she told police.

The girl said she stayed in a bedroom with her two-year-old nephew and did not see the shooting, but did hear a gunshot.

ASP agents report finding the wire cord used to drag Hart's body in a burn pile in the front yard.

The body has been taken to the State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for an autopsy.

A judge set Kathy Hart's bond at $500,000 and her next court date will be Jan. 19, 2016.

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android