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Wife arrested for shooting death of husband in Panola County, suspect is former Center ISD teacher

Sarah Gilpatrick Venable (Photo courtesy of

Panola County Detention Center)


A verbal domestic argument in Panola County has resulted in the shooting death of a man Tuesday night.


Panola County Sheriff's Office investigators say 49-year old Sarah Gilpatrick Venable was taken into custody at her residence in the Murvaul Community on County Road 121 and charged with murder.


It's reported a 9-1-1 call was received by the sheriff's office around 9:10 p.m. from Venable, screaming and saying she had just shot her husband.


Deputies arrived to find Venable at the front of the residence and discovered her husband, Jay Venable in one of the bedrooms lying face up on the floor with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head.


A .380 semi-automatic pistol with a spent shell jammed in the receiver was found on the kitchen counter.


Authorities report she told investigators that she and her husband had gotten into a verbal argument earlier that day concerning her losing her job. Her husband left the living room, went into a bedroom. She said she went into the master bedroom, retrieved the gun from under the mattress, walked into the other bedroom and fired one shot, hitting him in the back of the head.


Ms. Venable is a former employee of the Center ISD, having taught on the middle school campus. According to Superintendent Dr. James Hockenberry, she submitted her resignation on February 24, and her last day at work was March 2.


Jay Venable's body was transported to the Southwest Crime Lab in Dallas for autopsy.


Ms. Venable was taken to the sheriff's office for further questioning and late placed under arrest for murder.


She was to have been arraigned this morning.


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