Woman had affair months before murder-suicide

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- Authorities say the daughter of a murdered Nevada official had an affair several months before fatally shooting the woman she was married to and then turning the gun on herself at their Phoenix home.

A police report released Tuesday concluded that Dallas Kristin Augustine, 32, had killed Jessie McCaskill, 50, and then fatally shot herself. Augustine was the daughter of former Nevada Controller Kathy Augustine, who died in 2006. Augustine's stepfather, Chaz Higgs, was later convicted of murdering Kathy Augustine by injecting her with a paralytic drug.

Officers who were called Aug. 27 to perform a welfare check at the home shared by Augustine and McCaskill discovered their bodies near the front door, with a handgun between them. There were no signs of a struggle, except for a broken plate.

Friends and family had told investigators that the couple had been together for about six years and had gotten married in California, but they had disputes in the months leading up to the murder-suicide, such as the affair that strained their relationship.

Investigators were told that Augustine had an affair with a woman she met in a bar and that the other woman tried to extort Augustine under threat of revealing the relationship. Augustine was kicked out of the house after she told McCaskill about the affair and expressed suicidal thoughts.

While Augustine stayed at a hotel for a short time, McCaskill burned their wedding photos, investigators were told. Augustine wrote a confession about the affair that McCaskill later posted on Facebook.

Friends and family told police that they reunited in hopes of working things out, but their problems persisted.

The couple planned to move from north Phoenix to somewhere closer to the Arizona town of Florence, where Augustine was assigned to work after having just completed training for the Arizona Department of Corrections.

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