Charles Stobaugh could walk free as early as this week.
Stobaugh, the Sanger farmer whose murder conviction in the disappearance and presumed death of his wife was overturned by an appeals court last week, is set to appear in Denton County court Thursday to learn the conditions of his release.
In overturning his 2011 conviction, the state’s Second District Court of Appeals ordered Stobaugh to be released on a $25,000 bond pending a possible appeal of the court’s decision by the district attorney’s office. Any special conditions for his release will be determined by the 362nd District Court in Denton County, where his trial was held.
Stobaugh, 58, was convicted of murder in the death of his wife, Kathy, who disappeared in December 2004. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The appeals court overturned the conviction, saying there was not enough evidence to convict him. The court noted that Kathy Stobaugh’s body has not been found and there is no firm evidence that she was murdered or that Charles Stobaugh might have been connected to her death or disappearance.
The Stobaughs had been embroiled in a divorce that was set to become final the day after Kathy Stobaugh disappeared. She went to Charles Stobaugh’s home to discuss the divorce and was not reported to have been seen after that.
He said she left, but when he woke up the next morning, her car was in the driveway, according to court records.
The Denton County District Attorney’s Office has said it will likely appeal the decision to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court for criminal cases.
Stobaugh is set to be transferred from the Wallace Pack Unit near Navasota in Grimes County to Denton County Jail to await the court hearing.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.