Murder charges filed

Carolyn Elizabeth Malphrus

Nash: No sign death accident or self-defense

St. GEORGE — Authorities who charged a Rosinville area woman with killing her husband said Tuesday their investigation found no evidence the shooting was an accident or in self-defense.

Carolyn Elizabeth Malphrus, 36, is being held on a murder charge without bail at the Dorchester County Jail.

Sheriff's Office 1st. Sgt. Michael Miller said Malphrus called a 911 dispatch center about 6:45 p.m. Monday and reported she had just killed her husband, 37-year-old Cary Malphrus. She told investigators she used a 12-gauge shotgun in the killing at the couple's 576 Mulberry Road home, Miller said.

Cary Malphrus was shot in the neck, Miller said.

Sheriff Ray Nash called the death all the more traumatic because the couple's 9-year-old son was home at the time. Nash would not say whether the child, who was later taken into protective custody by the Department of Social Services and placed in the care of a family member, witnessed the killing.

"Obviously, this is a tragedy all the way around, for everyone involved," Nash said.

The Sheriff's Office would not release the tape of the 911 call, describing it as "evidence."

Nash said he didn't know whether deputies had been called to the couple's home previously.

At her bail hearing, Carolyn Malphrus told Dorchester County Magistrate Jackie Jenkins that a few years ago she was arrested on a simple assault charge. The disposition of the charge was not discussed, but according to the State Law Enforcement Division, the suspect has no arrest or conviction record.

Relatives of the couple declined to speak to reporters Tuesday, and the couple's 19-year-old son, Cary Malphrus Jr., waived his right to make a victim's impact statement in bail court.

Nash said investigators believe "murder is the appropriate charge." While holding open the possibility that other evidence could turn up, he said, "Our investigation revealed it was not an accident."

Nash indicated words were being exchanged in the home before the shooting but would not give details. "There was some event between the two of them just before the shot was fired," he said.

Nash described Carolyn Malphrus as cooperative with investigators but "very distraught and very emotional."

At the bail hearing, Malphrus told Jenkins she has lived at the Mulberry Road address for 15 years and has been employed for a year and a half by Dantzler Family Care in St. George.