Brother of man killed by Chambers County woman charged with another murder speaks only to ABC13

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Saturday, March 4, 2023
Brother of a man killed by Chambers County woman now charged with another murder speaks
The brother of a man killed by a woman now charged with murder in Chambers County said he sees similarities in his brother's case and the case of woman's latest husband's death.

CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The brother of a man killed by a woman now charged with murder in Chambers County said he sees similarities in his brother's case and the case of the woman's latest husband's death.

David Bragg was shot and killed in Douglas County, Minnesota, in 2018 by his fiancee at the time, Sarah Hartsfield.

Sarah was charged last month in Chambers County for the murder of her husband, Joseph Hartsfield. He suffered a medical emergency that staff at Houston Methodist Baytown deemed suspicious and contacted authorities.

She is currently being held on a $4.5 million bond.

PREVIOUS REPORT: Chambers Co. woman tries to take own life after bond lowered to $4.5M in case of husband's death

During a bond reduction hearing for her recent murder charge, Sarah detailed her account of what happened in Minnesota.

She said she and David fought about her former husband wanting to see the children they had together. She said the argument became heated, and she left with her children. She claims she returned to the home to gather a few things with two guns on her for protection, despite saying she was not fearful of David then.

Sarah explained via Zoom from inside the Chambers County Jail that he pointed a gun at her, and she dove onto the stairs to avoid the gunfire. She said she fired "blindly" and hit David, and he died.

A grand jury ruled the shooting as self-defense, and she was not charged. The case was re-opened in February 2023 after Douglas County said they received new information.

"The way she described David is something none of us could ever even think that he would be capable of thinking, much less acting it out," Daniel Bragg, his brother, explained.

Daniel said he last saw his brother three months before he was killed.

"From what my parents have told me, things looked awesome," Daniel said. "They loved each other."

During their six-and-a-half-month relationship, David and Sarah became engaged.

"In speaking to him then, it didn't really seem like he was in that much of high hopes of the relationship working," he explained.

Daniel said his brother was planning to break off their relationship at the time he was killed.

He later learned that his brother had expressed to their father that he had a feeling something bad was going to happen to him.

"He definitely kind of knew it was coming," Daniel said.

RELATED: Chambers County man told family he feared his wife would kill him before his murder, affidavit shows

Daniel is frustrated that more was not done in his brother's case and says it may have prevented the death of Joseph.

While David was shot to death and Joseph died from a medical emergency, he believes there are similarities in their cases.

According to family members, both men had plans to leave Sarah and expressed that they feared she might hurt them.

"I see no similarities in this case," Keaton Kirkwood, Sarah's attorney for her Chambers County case, said. "I have no documentation or awareness of Mr. Hartsfield planning to leave. My understanding is - that was all hearsay from the family, but I don't see any filings anywhere in Chambers County or anywhere for divorce."

Sarah has been married five times, in addition to being engaged to David.

ABC13 obtained a copy of an application for a protective order filed by her third husband in 2021 on his behalf, his new wife, and two of the daughters he shares with Sarah.

In the affidavit, her third husband alleges that she attempted to force her fourth husband to kill his new wife "so that (he) would be too busy dealing with the death to focus on fighting for (his) girls anymore."

The affidavit alleges that this began at the end of 2020, and the fourth husband said "he had a pistol that was given to him by Sarah to carry out this act."

RELATED: 1st ex-husband sorry that Chambers Co. man 'had to die' to arrest woman who was married 5 times

Sarah said, according to the affidavit, that she would not allow her fourth husband back home until he killed the woman.

Her children allegedly overheard that conversation.

Her third husband noted in the affidavit that the FBI got involved in 2021 and conducted interviews.

It is unclear where that investigation stands.

Sarah was asked about the allegations during her bond reduction hearing Wednesday. She said her fourth husband retracted those statements in a court hearing. She said the man was trying to retaliate against her because she would not take him back.

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