The shooting death of Las Animas County lawyer and former county attorney Jim Tatum is big news in Trinidad. Trinidad District Attorney Lee Hawke says:
The shooting stunned the community. "It's pretty much the topic of conversation everywhere. Everyone I talked to has been in absolute shock."
Tatum's wife, Ann Tatum, who worked in her husband's law office has been charged with second degree murder and is being held in jail pending posting a $175,000.00 cash bond.
Ann Tatum is accused of firing six shots at her husband in their kitchen during an argument in their home 20 miles west of Trinidad, an arrest affidavit says.
Pamela Mackey, who previously represented Kobe Bryant and MTV actor Vincent "Don Vito" Margera, will represent Ann Tatum. An off-duty sheriff's deputy, John Martinez, was staying at the Tatum home that night and witnessed the shooting. He says he saw Ann Tatum pull the trigger during a physical argument in their home. The details so far:
Sheriff James Casias told The Pueblo Chieftain that Martinez heard the couple arguing in the kitchen and came out of the room where he was staying. Martinez then saw Jim Tatum slap his wife and hit her repeatedly in the ribs. According to an affidavit, when Martinez tried to intervene, he was struck in the head and momentarily dazed. Ann Tatum, 57, allegedly reached into her handbag and retrieved a .38-caliber handgun and fired off five shots at her husband, hitting him at least once. "John said (Jim Tatum) made a grunting noise and kind of slumped over," Casias said. However, he managed to stand up and grabbed a .45-caliber handgun that was on the kitchen counter. Ann Tatum began to struggle with her husband for the gun and another round was fired. In the meantime, Martinez called 911.