FORT WORTH -- When Linda Kay Arnold moved into a house in southwest Arlington this year, she asked her new neighbors to watch out for her estranged husband, who she said was stalking her while she waited for a divorce.
On June 11, horrified neighbors saw Patrick Edward Arnold use a sledgehammer to bash in his wife's front door, and one neighbor yelled at him to stop as he shot her in the back yard, Arlington police have said.
On Friday, a Tarrant County grand jury returned a capital murder indictment against Patrick Arnold, 67, in the death of Kay Arnold, 59, a music teacher for Arlington schools.
Prosecutors contend that Patrick Arnold broke into the house and shot his wife in retaliation. Both elements can increase a murder charge to capital murder. At the time, he was forbidden by court order from calling, texting or getting within 200 feet of Kay Arnold's home in the 4100 block of Green Acres Circle or the schools where she worked, authorities said.
The day before the shooting, Patrick Arnold had been ordered to pay spousal support and her attorney's fees, and he faced jail time if he did not do so, her attorney said.
Shortly after the shooting, Patrick Arnold turned himself in at a south Arlington police station. He remains in the Tarrant County Jail with bail set at $100,000.
Arnold will be tried as a repeat offender because of 1982 convictions for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft and burglary. He was released from prison in 1992 but returned in 1993 for violating his parole. He was released again in 2000 and was on parole until 2013.
Repeat offender status won't affect Arnold's sentence if he is convicted of capital murder. The maximum sentence is death or life without possibility of parole. Prosecutors have not said which sentence they will pursue. However, if Arnold is convicted of murder, his criminal record would elevate his minimum punishment to 15 years. The maximum sentence would be life with the possibility of parole.
Martha Deller, 817-390-7857