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. Utah State Gun

    You go girl!

    March 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazz7

      Watch your wife may do you , sad person needs a brian

      March 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • gill

      Bah! @state gun....u tickle me

      March 22, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar r

    Utah State Gun, "You go girl?" The poor lady is dead; after she killed her husband. It was a murder suicide, and all you can say is,"You go girl." You are so F-ing stupid.

    March 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    Maybe the dude didn't understand the article.

    March 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar r

    Jazz, what's up?

    March 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jazz7

    I ment you at the last blog

    March 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jazz7

    go there now

    March 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. navykurt

    you'll have to forgive ceasar. trolling is his only social outlet.

    March 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy

    God, what a sad story. What could this woman have been going through that was so bad that she had to shoot her sleeping husband, and then kill herself? Nothing justifies this....so, so sad.

    March 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. meee

    I would like to know if he at least got some before being murdered

    March 21, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. biglips

    Thats an awesome way to go!

    March 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ciro

    Things are not always as they appear.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. bimmer

    rest In peace, no further comments.

    March 22, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Walker

    Why even mention the "[possible] link to a smoking cessation drug?" Someone is looking to redirect blame. The stress of quitting smoking is enough on its own to push someone to the edge. The incidence of suicides while using Chantix (which I am assuming is the drug being referred to) is way lower than the normal suicide rate.

    March 22, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. Soul Sold Separately

    This is why I stayed single. I need someone shooting me in my sleep like I need a hole in the head.

    March 22, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. worst-case scenario

    What must have been going through this poor woman's mind that she thought that a murder-suicide was the way tp deal with a political sanction from a local council over a $04.30 travel expense? A complete over=reaction like this indicates she had lost all sense of proportion.

    Just one look at her portrait shows you how hard Fairchild worked to present an appearance of competence, friendliness, and self-control. It's so sad for her and her husband that she seems to have no self-worth aside from the response of others.Why would she have left the note she did, referencing the disappoint of everyone else as the reason she committed these acts? Even a depressed person talks about how badly *they* feel.

    Mrs Fairchild seems to have become convinced she had no right to live anymore. Or was it that she believed herself to be so weak that she couldn't deal with even a small, relatively inconsequential, admonition?

    I pray that Mrs Fairchild's children – if she had any – do not beat themselves up as badly as their mother beat herself up. Unfortunately, this kind of stern self-expectation is often passed from generation to generation.

    March 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
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