Newport Preacher's Wife to Go on Trial in September

AUGUST 15, 2006 - Posted at 12:06 p.m. CDT

NEWPORT, AR - In Newport, a preacher's wife accused of waving a gun at her husband in church because he was text messaging some young girls is to go on trial September 6.

Tammy Ann Estes has pleaded not guilty to an aggravated assault charge that she threatened Larry Estes at the start of services July 30 at the Pentecostal Church of God.

Police say Tammy Estes wanted the preacher to admit infidelity and tell the congregation about the text messages to 18 and 19-year-old girls in a church youth group.

Police say Larry Estes had agreed to make the revelation at church.  But when he didn't, she told the congregation and pulled a loaded .357-caliber revolver from her purse.  After awhile, she surrendered to police.

A mental evaluation found Tammy Estes competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors say a prior investigation into the death of Tammy Estes' former husband in 1992 played no role in the current case.  Estes' former husband, Jeffrey Allan Catt, was found dead in a home in Floral in 1992.  She was considered a person of interest but was never charged.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)