Unholy Homicide, Part 2
On August 14, 2002, authorities issued a warrant for the arrest of Reverend Michael Tabb, saying they found blood on his shoes and in his truck bed. Later that day Tabb surrendered to authorities in the presence of his attorney, however he was later released from the Smith County Jail after posting $50,000 bond. Following Tabb's arrest Troup Mayor John Whitsell told reporters from CNN and The Tri County Leader, the community was angry and disappointed. "The person we trusted to guide our spiritual beliefs, at least allegedly turned against everything we stand for," Whitsell said. "The church will always remember this." Former neighbors in North Carolina were also shocked to hear of the pastor's arrest. "No way. There were no indicators whatsoever," Marine Saul Ruiz, a former neighbor, told the Tyler Morning Telegraph. "I would have been able to tell."
Following his release from the Smith County Jail, Reverend Tabb went to stay with his parents in Tyler, Texas. Shortly thereafter his attorney, F.R. "Buck" Files, contacted District Attorney Jack Skeen Jr. to discuss a possible plea bargain. The two men eventually came to a mutual agreement, whereas Tabb would plead guilty to murdering his wife in exchange for a 50-year sentence, with the possibility of parole, rather than the possibility of life imprisonment. Once all sides were in agreement, Tabb's hearing was set for May 14, 2003. On the date of the hearing Reverend Tabb was a no-show. Instead, he walked from his parents' home to The University of Texas at Tyler campus, where he slashed his throat and tossed the knife into a pond on the campus. Unfortunately for Tabb his attempt was unsuccessful and when he was discharged from a local hospital he was booked into Smith County Jail. Tabb agreed to plead guilty as he initially promised, however the district attorney's office amended the original agreement, adding an additional five years due to Tabb's suicide attempt. Tabb refused agree to the new terms and requested a trial.