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Brilliant woman charged with husband's murder

Brilliant woman charged with husband’s murder


Article contributed by The Journal Record  



News Editor


HAMILTON - A Brilliant woman has been arrested and charged with murder in the recent shooting death of her husband--a case which had originally been treated as a suicide.

Chelsea Rene McDonald, 20, was arrested at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Her arrest came shortly after an interview with law enforcement officials about the events which led to her husband’s death on Oct. 30.

“The investigation was still ongoing at the time of her interview, but information in the interview led officers to make an arrest at that time,’’ said Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams in an interview with the Journal Record.

Joseph Austin Self, 30, died from a 12-gauge gunshot wound to the chest as the result of a domestic dispute. Williams said the husband and wife were in the midst of a verbal confrontation at the time of the shooting at their residence at 11900 Alabama Highway 233 in Brilliant. Williams said the victim was killed instantly.

The sheriff also confirmed McDonald never legally changed her last name after the couple were married.

The suspect was being held on a $75,000 bond at the Marion County Jail in Hamilton as of presstime. The sheriff said that while a bond has been set in the case, she is being held due a probation violation on a previous drug charge.

Assisting with the case have been officers with the Marion County Drug Task Force, Alabama State Troopers and the Brilliant Police Department.

(When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation until or unless the defendant is proven guilty.)

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