On January 9, 2017, at about 5 PM, 57-year-old Katherine Herbert came to the Sheriff’s Office in Prescott and reported she had shot and killed her husband, 58-year-old James Herbert. The couple resides in the 18000 block of Frontier Road in Peeples Valley, Arizona.
Katherine told deputies the incident occurred January 6, 2018, after James arrived home from work during early evening hours. An argument ensued which continued throughout the evening. Katherine claimed James was aggressive towards her and feared being assaulted. As a result, she retrieved a loaded shotgun from the bedroom, pointed it at him and told him to stop. James walked away and went into the bedroom. He returned a short time later and picked up a black bag known to contain a handgun. He walked back to the bedroom as he rummaged through the bag. Katherine grabbed the shotgun and followed James, stopping at the bedroom door. Katherine claimed she saw James, who was looking away and focused on the handgun, operate the slide on the handgun as if loading a round into the chamber. When he looked up, she thought he raised the handgun and she fired the shotgun, striking him in the head.
Katherine checked James, who had fallen to the floor, and saw a severe wound to his head. She ‘panicked’ and a short time later decided to drive to Snowflake, Arizona, where she stopped at an area church around 3AM on January 7th, to pray. She eventually returned home that morning to find her husband’s body as she had left it. She stayed home, slept and cleaned the house.
On January 8, 2018, she drove to Wickenburg, ran some errands, and returned home where she remained for the day. Late in the day on January 9, 2018, she called her daughter and discussed the incident, then drove to her daughter’s house in Prescott Valley. Her daughter then brought her to the Sheriff’s station to report the shooting.
Deputies were dispatched to the home in Peeples Valley where they found the body of James deceased from a gunshot wound as had been described by Katherine. A handgun was recovered.
After an extensive interview with Katherine and other factors determined during the investigation, Katherine was booked on a charge of 1st Degree Murder and remains in the Camp Verde Detention Center.