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Bond hearing set today in murder appeal

Profile image for By Megan Gray
By Megan Gray

A rural Sanger man convicted of killing his wife was returned to Denton County Tuesday afternoon to await his bond hearing scheduled for today.

Charles Stobaugh, 58, was booked into the Denton County Jail at 4:26 p.m. Tuesday on a bench warrant after his murder conviction was overturned by the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeals last week.

Stobaugh was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted by a Denton County jury in 2011 in the disappearance and presumed death of his wife, Kathy, in 2004.

In overturning the conviction and ordering Stobaugh’s acquittal on the charges, the three-judge panel concluded there was not enough evidence to convict him. The court noted that Kathy Stobaugh’s body has not been found and there is no 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.

Stobaugh is set to appear before 362nd District Judge Bruce McFarling today to learn the conditions of his release. The appeals court ordered that he be released on $25,000 bond but allowed the conditions for the bond to be set by the trial court that heard his case.

The Denton County District Attorney’s Office said Friday it will likely appeal the decision to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court for criminal cases.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.