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Wife charged in White County mans slaying
Donna Boatright

Authorities charged a Cleveland woman with murder Thursday in the fatal shooting of her husband, the fifth homicide in White County this year.

With four of those deaths officially classified as murders, it is the most murders in the county in at least 28 years.

Donna Boatright, 45, was charged with murder Thursday morning, a day after allegedly shooting her husband, Roy Boatright, also 45, once in the chest with a .38-caliber revolver, White County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy John O’Brien said.

Roy Boatright died several hours after being airlifted Wednesday to Atlanta Medical Center. His wife remains in the White County Detention Center with an initial court appearance before a magistrate pending.

O’Brien said the shooting stemmed from a domestic quarrel at the couple’s Duncan Bridge Road home Wednesday. He could not say what the couple was arguing about.

Both Boatrights called 911 within minutes of each other at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, O’Brien said.

Roy Boatright was conscious and talking when authorities arrived, O’Brien said.

O’Brien said Donna Boatright agreed to talk with investigators but he declined to say what she told them.

Donna Boatright was arrested at the scene on a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana after deputies spotted a smoking device in the home, O’Brien said.

She still was in jail when investigators served her with murder warrants Thursday morning.

O’Brien said he had no knowledge of any prior domestic-related calls to the home. The couple had lived in White County for about two years, he said.

Counting the officer-involved fatal shooting of a bank robbery suspect in Helen in July, there have been five homicides in White County since January.

There were two fatal stabbings — one in Cleveland and one in Helen — and the alleged shooting death of a woman by her estranged husband, who authorities say fled to Louisiana before being captured.

According to crime statistics kept by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the last murder in White County occurred in December 2004.

Since the GBI began keeping records in 1980, the previous high for murders in White County was three in 1996.