Phoenix woman implicated in murder-suicide no stranger to tragedy

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by Carina Sonn

azfamily.com

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 6:50 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 29 at 9:43 AM

PHOENIX -- The daughter of a murdered Nevada lawmaker is accused of murdering her partner and then killing herself.

Dallas Augustine, 32, shot Jessie McCaskill, 50, in their Phoenix home located near 12th Street and Greenway sometime in the last several days.

Police say they received a call from McCaskill's family members after they hadn't heard from the woman since Thursday.

Augustine, who was a Department of Corrections officer, is accused of shooting her wife multiple times. The bodies were found in the living room.

"Indications at the home that one of them appears to have been trying to move out at the time the incident occurred," said Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump.

The couple were married in 2007.

"They were nice neighbors as far as I'm concerned," said Philip Allen, who lives next to the women. He said they were pleasant people, but often fought. "When they went in the house they raised hell."

Allen said he heard fighting and items being smashed in the house next door to him at least once a week.

"It was either Wednesday night or Thursday night or both they were arguing and fighting, I didn't pay any attention to it simply because they did it all the time," said Allen who doesn't recall the gun going off.

Augustine was no stranger to drama in her life.

In 2006 her mother, Kathy Augustine, was murdered by her husband -- Dallas' stepdad.

Kathy Augustine was a high-profile lawmaker in Nevada, who was impeached for illegally using her office for political purposes.

Kathy's husband, Chaz Higgs, was found guilty of poisoning her but told doctors at the time his wife died of a heart attack.

Higgs tried to unsuccessfully commit suicide and was sentenced to life in prison.

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