Former high school principal charged in wife’s death after body found near woods

Updated: Sep. 18, 2019 at 9:50 AM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A former Summerville High School principal has been charged with killing his wife after her body was found in a wooded area in Dorchester County on Tuesday.

James “Stan” Yarborough, 64, has been charged in the death of 63-year-old Karen Yarborough. He faces charges of murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and obstruction of justice, according to Summerville Police Lt. Shaun Tumbleston.

Police responded Tuesday to the Yarborough home to investigate Karen Yarborough’s disappearance. According to the incident report, Stan Yarborough said he and his wife had been home on Monday night. He told police that at approximately 8 p.m. that evening, he said he was going to bed for the night and that his wife said she was going to go for a walk, something he said was “normal behavior.”

He said his wife had recently been depressed about a recent death and about an illness of a close family friend, the incident report states.

Police say they noticed a red stain on the bottom of his shirt near each of his armpits and asked what the stain was from. He said he must have gotten blood on his shirt because he was on blood thinners, the report states.

The report states officers found a single, unknown caliber bullet on the floor of their bedroom near the dresser with no shell casing nearby. Yarborough told police he did not have any firearms and did not know why the bullet would be there.

Police also found “fresh damage” to Yarborough’s vehicles and broken flower pots and a wheelbarrow outside the home, the report states. He told police he only knew of damage to the vehicles that his wife told him about on Monday.

The report states that when detectives arrived on the scene, they arrested Yarborough for obstruction of justice.

Officials with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s office said the body was found near Beidler Forest along Harrison Road on Tuesday.

Yarborough was being held pending a bond hearing, Tumbleston said.

He was principal at Summerville High School from 1994 to 1998 and then served as Dorchester District 2 Facilities Director from 1998 to 2002.

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