Fouke woman charged with manslaughter in stabbing death of husband

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A Fouke, Ark., woman has been charged with manslaughter in the January stabbing death of her husband.

The accused wife and mother of three was arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 5 on a charge of second degree murder in the death of her husband, 35-year-old James Fries. When officers arrived at about 2 a.m. at a home on Miller County 10, they found James Fries lying in front of the house, suffering from a single stab wound.

According to Miller County officials, the couple had been involved in a heated domestic dispute at the time of the stabbing. Tarah Fries reportedly told investigators James Fries was trying to take her cell phone because she had pictures of him he didn’t want others to view, according to a probable cause affidavit. Tarah Fries allegedly claimed she was locked in the bathroom, holding a knife, when James Fries kicked the door in and fell on top of the blade.

At the time of the stabbing, the couple’s three young children and an 18-year-old son of James Fries’ were at the home. The older son allegedly told deputies his father ran from the house asking to be taken to a hospital before collapsing on the ground and said that Tarah Fries was intoxicated.

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Court records show James Fries filed for divorce in 2014 and the custody and support of their three children, ages 7, 5, and 2, were at issue. The divorce was still pending at the time of James Fries’ death.

A charge of manslaughter was filed against Tarah Fries this week, according to an official with the Miller County Circuit Clerk’s Office. Manslaughter is a lesser offense than the second degree murder charge Tarah Fries was initially arrested for in January. If convicted of manslaughter, Tarah Fries faces three to ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Tarah Fries is currently free on a $10,000 bond. She is scheduled for arraignment in Miller County circuit court next month.

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