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#7073: Authorities arrest husband of woman killed in Haiti

From: Robert Charles IV <robtcharles4th@yahoo.com>

Authorities arrest husband of
                 woman killed in Haiti

                 The Associated Press
                 9/10/00 11:38 PM

                 SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) -- Federal authorities have
                 arrested a Shreveport business man on charges he plotted
                 his wife's death in Haiti last January so he could collect
                 insurance money.

                 Curtis Wharton originally told police that his 28-year-old
                 wife, Sheila, was killed during a carjacking near the capital
                 city of Port-au-Prince.

                 The Whartons reportedly had stopped in Haiti on the last
                 leg of a business-vacation trip in the Caribbean. Haitian
                 police reported that Curtis Wharton flagged down a
                 motorist on a dark highway and told him the couple had
                 been run down by men on motorcycles.

                 But FBI officials say Curtis Wharton wanted his wife dead
                 so he could collect on her life insurance policy.

                 Authorities arrested Wharton Saturday at a residence in
                 Naples, Fla., saying they feared he was about to leave the

                 Wharton's family owns insurance, finance and auto sales
                 companies in Shreveport.

                 One of his secretaries, Judy Nipper, was arrested in

                 Wharton, 38, and Nipper, 52, have been charged with
                 insurance fraud -- not murder. They were expected to make
                 an initial appearance in court Monday -- Wharton in Fort
                 Myers, Fla., and Nipper in Shreveport. Their attorneys said
                 they were not involved in Sheila Wharton's death.

                 Sheila Wharton's mother, Dorothy Upshaw, called the
                 arrest "shocking and hurtful."

                 "It is painful for our family to lose a child, to know that
                 someone she loved so much could have been involved,"
                 Upshaw said.

                 A grand jury has been going over evidence in the case and
                 is expected to decide whether to return an indictment
                 within the next month, said U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan in

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