Murdered Nevada Politician’s Daughter Found Dead

The daughter of a murdered Nevada lawmaker has been found dead in Phoenix, Arizona, after allegedly shooting and killing her lesbian partner.

Dallas Augustine, who worked as a correctional officer in Florence, is suspected of shooting Jessie McCaskill before taking her own life. Police discovered the bodies of the women after a family member called 9-1-1 concerned for their welfare.

The couple married at the Hotel Del Coronado, in San Diego, September 22nd, 2007.  In May 2008, Dallas unsuccessfully ran for the Las Vegas Assembly District 12 seat her mother, Kathy held when she first entered politics in 1992.

Kathy Augustine also served in the state Senate before being elected state controller in 1998 and re-elected to a second term. The first woman to hold the job, she became the first constitutional officer in Nevada history to be impeached and convicted after she pleaded guilty to three ethics violations in 2004.

She was found unconscious in her Reno home, July 8th, 2006, dying four days later without regaining consciousness. Although early reports stated the cause of death was a massive heart attack, police soon came to suspect foul play.

Augustine’s husband, Chaz Higgs, attempted suicide by slitting his wrists in the couple’s Las Vegas home, July 14th.  He was later arrested in Virginia, September 29th, 2006, and charged with first degree murder in her death.

Higgs, a critical care nurse, allegedly made suspicious remarks to a co-worker about how to kill someone using succinylcholine. He was convicted of murder in Reno, June 29th, 2007.

Dallas’ father, Delta Air Lines pilot Charles Augustine, died from complications of a stroke August 19th, 2003. Since Higgs was his private nurse at the time, authorities had him disinterred in October 2006 where they determined his death was due to natural causes.

Higg was sentenced to life in prison, with a chance of parole after 20 years. In May 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld his murder conviction in a majority decision.

The Maricopa County medical examiner’s office says Augustine and McCaskill are scheduled for autopsies by the end of the week.

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