Police: Nevada councilwoman killed husband hour before her suicide
Police say Nevada councilwoman Donna Fairchild killed herself after killing her husband on January 25.
March 21st, 2011
08:33 PM ET

Police: Nevada councilwoman killed husband hour before her suicide

Mesquite, Nevada (CNN) - Embattled Nevada councilwoman Donna Fairchild killed her husband of 21 years in his sleep at least an hour before she took her own life early January 25, law enforcement officials have concluded.

Douglas Law, police chief in Mesquite, Nevada, where Fairchild served on the city council, said a toxicology analysis revealed no signs of alcohol, narcotics or an anti-smoking medication in the couple's bloodstream.

The couple had stopped smoking and were dieting, leading to speculation that the murder-suicide might be linked to a smoking cessation drug.

Caffeine and an agent found in chocolate were detected, and Bill Fairchild also had taken a mild allergy medication, Law said. He added that the medical examiner's report confirmed his department's findings that the couple died in a murder-suicide.

The Fairchilds were found dead before dawn in the bedroom of their home in a newer subdivision in the hills overlooking Mesquite, a desert community of about 15,000 about 80 miles north of Las Vegas.

At about 4:20 a.m. Donna Fairchild emailed two friends, and then called 911 and summoned police to her home. "I'm so very sorry,"  she said, according to Law.

Police found Bill Fairchild, a former Denver homicide detective who worked part-time at Mesquite's recreation center, lying under the covers with a gunshot wound to the side of his nose. Gunshot residue was found on his eyelids, indicating he never woke up, Law said.

Donna Fairchild, also retired from the Denver police force, was found fully clothed, lying on top of the covers with a 9 mm gunshot wound to the temple.

Police discovered a note on the telephone stand in the kitchen, signed by "Donna."

"I am so sorry for the disappointment I have caused all of you," the typed note said. "I know this makes no sense. It never will."

The bodies were found hours before Donna Fairchild was to attend a City Council meeting and face possible sanctions over a $94.30 travel expense voucher and public comments she made about a state agency.

She was one of three candidates who had announced they were running against incumbent Mayor Susan Holecheck, who along with the city attorney placed the agenda items seeking sanctions against Fairchild on the city council's meeting agenda.

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Filed under: Crime • Nevada
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Hinky Dink

    II'll wager she had a cigarette after she killed him.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MotherBear

    Murder and Suicide over $94.30, accompanied by a TYPED suicide note? Yeah, right. I'd look into whomever she and her husband were investigating and/or challenging.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    It's a shame the couple had to die, apparently due to drug interaction. On top of that, the voucher is chump change compared to the giant sums allegedly reaped by certain political types in Bell, CA.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nevada Gaming Board

    What are the odds?

    March 23, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nick

    Worst-case-scenario, I feel for Donna and Bill Fairchild, sad what a few moments of weakness can drive a human being to do. I also think that you are very wise-sorry, but it's true.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. ed Bailey

    Remember Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, and many others that we KNOW did not take there own life.jumping to conclusions is what law enforcement does best and many times our government signals an all clear! Why, because that's the intended outcome. They care about money and power and have some of the most ingenious ways of attaining their goal! A typed note, did law enforcement check for HER fingerprints on the keys???

    March 23, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Facts of Life

    Obviously,there is a underlying factor for the crime that she committed. By the accurate analytical perception of any sencere open minded individual,one can logically conclude that the woman was a phsycotic,deranged,demonically possessed individual who knowingly committed what she allowed herself to believe,would be her ultimate act of personal power.

    March 23, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. frank

    Loss Of Life In Such A Way Is Tragic. The People That Think Its Sooo Funny, I Sincerely Hope It Happens To Someone You Love,because Killing A Piece Of Shyt Like You Would Be A Mercy Killing. You Arent Even A Sicko.just Childish. Anyhow Folks, IT DOES STINK OF A "HIT". less than 100$ isnt worth killing or dying over. r.i.p.

    March 23, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
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