The sheriff's office stated that the investigation is still ongoing on Tuesday, therefore few specifics on the former prosecutor's death were available.
A Texas lawyer who had handled domestic abuse cases was murdered on New Year's Day by her husband. On January 1, according to a statement from the Hood County Sheriff's Office, Jeffrey Bryan McLaughlin, 58, of Granbury, was detained and charged with the first-degree murder of his wife, Venisa McLaughlin, 58. The sheriff's office stated that the investigation is still ongoing on Tuesday, therefore few specifics on the former prosecutor's death were available, per PEOPLE.
A Facebook post by County Attorney Matt Mills mourning Venisa shared that she worked as an associate attorney for Hood County for more than five years. "I woke up this New Year's morning to hear heartbreaking news. Our former assistant county attorney, who started with me on my first day in office, was killed this morning," the post stated. "She served our office for over five years, and she helped us through some trying times at the start of my first term. She also helped tremendously in my re-election campaign in 2020. Our prayers are with her two daughters and the rest of her family," Mills continued.
Many users left condolences in the comments of Mills' post. User Contrary Mary said, "I am in a state of shock! We were golfing buddies with them and my daughter was in high school with their younger daughter. Truly tragic and heartbreaking!" Another user, a friend of the victim, Susan Smith, said, "It’s a day later and I’m still in incredible sadness for the death of a good friend and one of the smartest and sweetest women I’ve ever known. My heart breaks for their daughters and can not imagine what could have made Jeff snap. The world lost a great woman."
She left the county's office "on cordial terms" around the end of April 2022, according to Mills, who also stated that she was largely responsible for protective orders, justice of the peace courts, mental commitments, and other duties. Sheriff Roger Deeds, whose investigators were going over the evidence, told the Hood County News that they're still “actively investigating this call.”
According to her LinkedIn page, Venisa obtained her bachelor's degree in business administration/management from Oklahoma State University in 1993 before going on to complete her legal education at Texas A&M University in 2003. She had a Texas law license since 2007, according to the state bar's official website.
Deeds shared that an inquest into Venisa's death is being conducted by Justice of the Peace Roger Howell. According to the police press release, Jeffrey is being held in the Hood County Jail under a $250,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had filed a plea or hired a lawyer to represent him.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Venisa McLaughlin