The wife of a man who police initially thought had killed himself on the day of a criminal court hearing was arrested Friday on a murder charge in his death.
Shawn Delynn Olson, 37, was charged in the death of James Dale Olson, 38, whose body was found in the couple’s Hewitt home Monday.
Temple police arrested Shawn Olson after her release from Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, where she recovered from self-inflicted wounds.
Police initially believed the couple attempted suicide together as James Olson was facing an indictment on a continuous sexual abuse of a child charge. McLennan County Sheriff’s Office deputies found the couple in their home off Majestic Drive when neither of them showed up for James Olson’s court appearance.
“The murder charge results from intentionally and knowingly causing the death of an individual,” Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said in an interview. “We have a sound belief that this is what happened on Monday.”
When deputies found James Olson dead in an upstairs bedroom, Shawn Olson was lying near him with severe self-inflicted wounds, Devlin said. Authorities had issued a warrant for James Olson’s arrest after he failed to show up for court and his GPS ankle monitor failed to update.
While she was at a medical facility, Shawn Olson told police she had inflicted the wounds on her husband that caused his death, according to an arrest affidavit.
“It seems to be very unusual, but as we now know it did not appear to be what it initially discovered to be,” Devlin said. “(Suicides) do not happen often this way, but I think from the beginning of our investigation, investigators had some significant questions about some things that occurred.”
Initially, police said it appeared James Olson took his own life and that his wife attempted to do the same. Brittany Lannen, James Olson’s attorney who was at the home after law enforcement went into the home, expressed shock when told of the arrest of her client’s wife.
“These situations always leave unanswered questions, so it is a comfort to me as Mr. Olson’s attorney and as a person with family in Hewitt that the Hewitt Police Department did not simply take this situation at face value and is thoroughly investigating the matter,” Lannen said. “In all my interactions with my client and his wife, they seemed completely devoted to each other, so to see that she has been charged in his murder is obviously shocking.”
Lannen said the unusual situation is still questionable and she waits to get more information from authorities.
Shawn Olson remains in Bell County Jail with no bond. Authorities expect to bring her back to McLennan County on the murder warrant.
No form of assisted suicide is permitted in Texas. A handful of states allow medically assisted suicide, which allows terminally ill people to end their own lives with assistance from a licensed doctor.