APB Online

Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Wife Charged With Killing Sheriff

Investigators Say She Admitted Stabbing

By Todd Venezia, APBNews

MIAMI, Okla. (APBnews.com) -- Investigators with a rural sheriff's department are investigating the killing of their boss, allegedly stabbed by his wife with a steak knife because she was mad at him.

Authorities said that Patricia Ann Harkins dialed 911 immediately after she killed her husband, Ottawa County Sheriff Jack Harkins. The stabbing took place inside the couple's Fairland home at about 9 p.m. Saturday.

Harkins admitted the killing, offering no motive, other than that she was mad at her husband, an investigator said. She was then charged with first-degree murder.

Bail was set at $250,000 Monday. Special Judge Bill Culver cited her lack of a criminal record.

Elected with no experience

"We think this was a very sad and tragic incident," said Detective Fred Booth of the Ottawa Sheriff's Department, who described his slain boss as a devoted, churchgoing family man. "We heard of no instances that there was trouble in their family."

Jack Harkins was first elected sheriff in 1997. Before he took over as the county's top lawman, he had no prior experience in law enforcement, serving as a Miami firefighter from 1959 to 1973 and then as manager of an auto-parts supply store. He won on a platform touting his administrative expertise.

"In my time on the force he was a real upbeat personality," said Booth. "He really had a hand on what was going on in the area."

County officials have not appointed a successor to the sheriff.

Todd Venezia is an APBnews.com staff writer (todd.venezia@apbnews.com).

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