KEMP, Texas — Merlin Kay Long Whittington of Kemp has pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of her husband, Hubert Whittington, who was found with a fatal gunshot wound to the face at their Cedar Creek Country Club home last August.
Originally charged with murder, Mrs. Whittington was offered and accepted a plea agreement to Manslaughter with a deadly weapon; a second degree felony which carries a punishment of 2 to 20 twenty years in prison and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.00 according to Kaufman County court records obtained by inForney.com.
As part of the agreement, Mrs. Whittington waived any attempts at appeal. She remains out on bond, while she awaits her sentencing by 86th District Judge Casey Blair that has been scheduled for August 16. So far she has spent no time behind bars.
Mr. Whittington’s surviving family says that they are pleased with the agreement since it expedites the process and they do not have to wait for what could be a lengthy and emotional trial.
“We are looking forward to the sentencing in August, and I am hopeful that the judge will take all the facts into consideration when deciding on her punishment,” says Greg Whittington, Mr. Whittington’s son from a previous marriage.
“We are looking forward to seeing that justice is served and she [Mrs. Whittington] being held responsible,” he says.
Mrs. Whittington was arrested by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s office on August 28, 2018 after investigators with the department and the Texas Rangers, discovered that the crime scene did not match up with Mrs. Whittington’s account of how her husband was shot.
According to a search warrant affidavit obtained by inForney.com Mrs. Whittington called 911 at approximately 1:29PM on Thursday, August 16, 2018 to request an ambulance at their home on Legg Drive.
“I shot my husband, I was, and it went off,” the affidavit states. When asked where he was shot, Mrs. Whittington responded, “Looked like it grazed his head.” The phone connection remained open until emergency personnel arrived though Mrs. Whittington did not communicate with the dispatcher any further.
Upon arrival, emergency personnel found Mr. Whittington deceased with a gunshot wound to the face according to a law enforcement official.
The search warrant reveals that after investigators asked Mrs. Whittington to recount how her husband was shot; she provided details as to where she was standing in relationship to her husband. After processing the crime scene investigators discovered that the husband’s body was in the location where Mrs. Whittington alleges she was standing.
“Mr. Whittington’s body was on the opposite side of the kitchen from where Mrs. Whittington said he was when he was shot,” the affidavit says.
Mrs. Whittington is the aunt of Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse and was released from the Kaufman County Jail several hours after her arrest after posting a $200,000 bond.