A woman accused of murdering two former partners allegedly plotted to kill a third person in a bid to maintain custody of her kids, KPRC-TV reports.
Sarah Hartsfield is presently in a Texas jail charged with murdering her fifth husband, who allegedly died from an insulin overdose in January.
Since that incident, authorities in northern Minnesota have re-opened an investigation into the 2018 death of Hartsfield’s fiancée, whom she fatally shot but claimed self-defense, according to FOX 9.
Now new allegations are coming to light alleging that the 48-year-old “black widow” tried to kill the new wife of ex-husband Christopher Donohue in 2021 amid a custody dispute over their children.
Court records obtained by KPRC-TV allege that Hartsfield told her husband at the time, David George, that he was not allowed back in their home until he murdered Donohue’s new wife.
Hartsfield allegedly wanted to the woman dead so that Donohue “would be too busy dealing with the death to focus on fighting for” their children, according to court documents reviewed by KPRC-TV.
Donohue sought a protective order in court, alleging in a sworn affidavit that George, Hartsfield’s husband at the time, told him “he had a pistol that was given to him by Sarah to carry out this act,” the television station reports, quoting from the document.
George allegedly relayed to Donohue that he had been “trying for months to get Sarah to stop pressuring him” and that he would “lie to her about why it hadn’t happened yet,” the court records state, according to KPRC-TV.
But George later refuted the allegations and asserted that the accusations were an attempt by the former husband to separate their kids from their mother.
Still, law enforcement took the concerns seriously, according to a statement from local police in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where Donohue lived.
“On March 19, 2021, an FBI agent contacted a detective with the SVPD and advised they were investigating Christopher and Heather Donohue and Christopher’s ex-wife Sarah George. He requested a close patrol of Christopher’s residence until they had a better understanding of the case. The SVPD conducted close patrols of the residence as requested,” the Sierra Vista Police Department told KPRC-TV in a written statement.
Investigators spoke with Hartsfield about the alleged plot, but Donohue wrote in the affidavit that “she lied about everything, and the agents were gone,” according to the television station.
Hartsfield filed to divorce George one week later and lost custody of the two children. The judge reportedly cited family violence as a factor in the decision and, presciently, said such violence would likely occur again, KPRC-TV reports.
The judge also prohibited Hartsfield from contacting the two children and Donohue’s new wife.
Decades before the alleged murders, Hartsfield was accused of mistreating her earlier lovers. In 1996, police in Houston arrested Hartsfield after she and her then-second husband got into a physical argument in their apartment. Hartsfield was charged with assault but prosecutors dropped the case one week later for unknown reasons, according to KTRK-TV.
The woman’s husband at the time, who had been bruised and scraped, received a citation. He told KTRK-TV the pair were married between 1996 and 1997 and that he wanted to forget that period of his life, which he described as miserable.
In January, Hartsfield posted to Facebook a video of her fifth husband’s apparent final moments while in a vegetative state in the hospital as she cried next to his bed. “I’m so proud of Joe. His life may have ended but he gets to be a part of a legacy to help others live!” the Facebook post reads.
Investigators deemed the death “suspicious” and identified multiple inconsistencies, according to the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office.
Hartsfield’s lawyer says his client is not guilty of the alleged murders and urged the public to allow the legal process to play out.
“Sarah Hartsfield maintains her innocence and will assist in the investigation of her husband’s untimely death. We adamantly denounce the misinformation that has been provided to the public regarding her past, as well as any criminal involvement currently in Chambers County. We are engaged in the discovery process and would remind the public to withhold any judgment until due process has been satisfied,” Defense attorney Keaton Kirkwood told KPRC-TV.
Meanwhile, police want to speak with anyone who knows Hartsfield or may have information about her history. To report information, call the Chambers County District Attorney’s Office at 409-267-2682.
An arraignment is scheduled for March 1.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode below.
Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most — your children.
[Featured image: Sarah Hartsfield/Chambers County Sheriff’s Office]