Sarah Hartsfield asks higher court to reconsider $2M bond in murder case

A panel of three appellate judges will review the case record from Chambers County

CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas – The Chambers County woman who has been jailed since February, accused of murdering her husband, has asked an appeals court to review her bond that has already been reduced three times this year.

Sarah Hartsfield, 48, is currently in the Chambers County Jail with a $2 million bond. After being indicted by a grand jury in February, her bond was set at $5 million.

A trial date hasn’t been set, although May 2024 has been floated as a possibility by the parties involved.

“The bond issue has been litigated numerous times and we feel the bond in this case is appropriate,” Chambers County District Attorney Cheryl Lieck Henry told KPRC 2 News.

Hartsfield’s new defense attorney, James Reeves, declined to provide a statement for this story. He argued in court last month that his client’s bond should be reduced from $4 million, providing case law examples that he claimed demonstrated abusive bonds.

Chambers County District Court Judge Chap Cain reduced the $4 million bond to $2 million on Oct. 6, but Reeves told KPRC 2 after that hearing his client still won’t be able to afford the lesser amount.

Following the notice of appeal, a panel of three appellate judges from the First Court of Appeals will review the case record from Chambers County. Both sides may have the opportunity to submit written arguments, and the court could possibly request oral arguments happen in-person.

It has been filed as an accelerated appeal, the First Court of Appeals told KPRC 2. It’s not clear how soon an opinion could be issued, but it’s unlikely to happen before the end of month, as the court first has to review the complete record.

  • Watch KPRC 2′s investigative documentary The Two Sides of Sarah, which digs deeper into Sarah Hartsfield’s past, revealing details about her background and the string of exes she’s left behind.

Hartsfield, who has been married five times, was the only person with her 46-year-old husband Joseph Hartsfield when he became unresponsive at their Beach City home in January. The diabetic was rushed to the hospital where he died a week later, the medical examiner’s office ruled due to complications of toxic effects of insulin.

Joseph Hartsfield’s family told investigators he was making plans to leave Sarah Hartsfield, and that he had opened a new checking account to initiate that process. Documents revealed she waited at least an hour to call 911 after finding him unresponsive.

Three of Hartsfield’s living exes have told KPRC 2 their relationship with the mother of four ended poorly.

Hartsfield’s fiancée between her third and fourth ex-husband died in the couple’s Minnesota home, while his family said he was making arrangements to end the relationship.

Hartsfield shot him claiming self defense, but since her Texas arrest, that case has been under investigation again. She has never been charged.

Douglas County, Minnesota’s top prosecutor Chad Larson has ignored multiple requests from KPRC 2 about the status of his re-opened investigation. Reeves told KPRC 2 he has heard nothing about any investigation in Minnesota.


About the Author:

Bryce Newberry joined KPRC 2 in July 2022. He loves the thrill of breaking news and digging deep on a story that gets people talking.