March 10, 1995 in Idaho

Woman To Stand Trial In Husband’s Death

By The Spokesman-Review

A woman accused of shooting her husband in the heart will stand trial for seconddegree murder, a judge ordered Thursday.

Officers arrested Darlene Caba, 49, after her husband, Jim Caba, was found dead at the couple’s Beauty Bay Road home on Dec. 15. He had been shot in the chest with a revolver.

Floyd Flowers, one of Caba’s neighbors and a former California law officer, testified Thursday that Darlene Caba called him about 5:20 the morning of the shooting.

“She said ‘Please come up; I just shot Jim,”’ Flowers said, explaining he then asked her if she had called 911. “She said, ‘No; please come up; don’t call 911; they’ll take me to jail.”’

Flowers said he called police after he got off the phone.

When officers interviewed Darlene Caba, she changed her story several times, two Kootenai County sheriff’s detectives testified.

The detectives said Caba told them she and her husband had been drinking, arguing and even wrestling with each other before the shooting.

Darlene Caba first told officers that shortly before she shot her husband, Jim Caba had fired the gun over her head. Later, she said her husband had fired the gun over her head up to a week or more before he died, said detective Jerry Wiedenhoff.

Caba told officers her husband had threatened to stab her and grabbed a knife. She then picked up the gun and it went off, Wiedenhoff said.

Caba’s attorney, Tom Vasseur, said his client merely was trying to defend herself when she shot Jim Caba. Vasseur also said his client didn’t intend for the gun to go off.

But Judge Debra Heise said she feels Caba’s stories conflicted.

“If she was acting in self-defense, she would have intended to shoot the gun” instead of claiming she didn’t mean for the gun to go off.

Heise also said it appears Darlene Caba used more force than necessary to protect herself. Both Darlene and Jim Caba are the same height, but Darlene Caba outweighed her husband by 140 pounds.

Heise also pointed out that Jim Caba was sickly and could not walk upright because he had undergone two spinal operations.

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