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Apex woman charged in husband's death

Posted July 17, 2009

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— Sheriff's deputies arrested an Apex woman early Friday on murder charges in the death of her 60-year-old husband, Wake County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Phyllis Stephens said.

Jolene Kay Hardy, 55, of 3804 Perney Court, faces murder charges in the death of Gerald Douglas Hardy.

Jolene Kay Hardy charged in death of husband 7/17/09 Wake County woman charged in husband's death

Shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday, deputies received a call about a deceased person at the couple's home. Authorities have not said who made the call.

"Once we obtained search warrants to get inside, we started our investigation," Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. "Then we saw things that did not look right. And it turned out to be a homicide."

A preliminary autopsy report determined Gerald Hardy died of blunt-force trauma, Stephens said.

Harrison said he is certain that George Hardy's death was murder. He said he didn't want to talk about the cause of death ahead of an autopsy by the state chief medical examiner in Chapel Hill.

Harrison said investigators have spoken with Jolene Hardy and were talking to neighbors.

No more details about the case have been released.

At her first court appearance Friday afternoon, Jolene Hardy appeared indecisive when asked if she needed an attorney and mumbled, "I heard you should hire your own, but I don't know."

The judge granted her a court-appointed lawyer and denied her bond. A probable cause hearing was set for Aug. 6.

Neighbors said that George Hardy had been sick and in a wheelchair recently.

"We had heard he had cancer or something like that," said the neighborhood's community watch captain, Rick Habegger.

Harrison said he was aware of such talk and it was being looked into as part of the investigation.

Neighbors said that the Hardys were a quiet couple. Habegger recalled they set up elaborate Halloween and Christmas decorations every year.

"They were probably the most decorated of our community's homes," he said.

They had two sons and a daughter, Harrison said.

"I can't imagine what family goes through in which a spouse has a spouse that's very ill," Habegger said.

Wake County records show the couple's home was purchased in 2000 for $284,000. It is now valued at nearly $350,000.

In 2003, the couple took out a $220,000 loan for the home, and in May last year, Gerald Hardy filed a QuitDeed and gave ownership of the home to Jolene Hardy for $1. Although Quit Deeds are commonly used in a divorce, Stephens said the Hardys were married.

35 Comments

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  • itsmyownopinion Jul 17, 6:41 p.m.

    The latest update said blunt force trauma. Could a sick person fall and get that? Could something have fallen on him and caused that? I hate to think of a sick person being murdered, so I'm just searching for another cause. :( I fell a couple of weeks ago and got all banged up and bloody, then I was wabbly in the shower where I was attempting to wash the blood off. Had I fallen in the shower and killed myself, I dare say somebody would have thought I had been murdered, because a bang on my head in the shower would not have explained all those other injuries.

  • Mom2two Jul 17, 4:52 p.m.

    Just curious: How many married people would assist their spouse if the spouse begged them to help them end their lives, when they already had a terminal illness? I think I would, AND, if I were the one dying, I might also consider doing the begging.

  • pulstar40 Jul 17, 4:46 p.m.

    Lots of married folks put the house in one spouse's name (and a bunch of other assets) when the other finds out they have a terminal illness. I know several couples who did the same. This way, the healthy spouse can make the necessary decisions on the property if necessary as the other declines. All of these couples were in loving relationships, with the healthy spouse taking good care of the sick one all the way until the end. The fact that this couple had done the same indicates nothing.

  • justwondering2 Jul 17, 4:18 p.m.

    Regardless, she murdered him and will soon find herself in prison crocheting.???? and you know this how?
    first of all why would she murder her spouse if he had a terminal illness? Second,it is my understanding the medicaid thing is 10 years prior to medicaid application. Third. Even if she put the house in her name they are still married and that is marital assets so no medicaid. Just a thought.... maybe they did the deed thing because the house was solely in his name and he knew he was dying and wanted no drama about the house. I would like to know what her motive could possibly be for murder vs just letting nature take its course... jmo

  • Professor Jul 17, 4:13 p.m.

    The grandchildren are going to have plenty of questions. Who will answer them truthfully?

  • Professor Jul 17, 4:11 p.m.

    She is not going to be free any time soon. I know you love her, but she took a life. You can visit in the prison. Just give them certain information and see if you qualified. lol

  • Professor Jul 17, 4:05 p.m.

    THIS IS NOT A MERCY KILLING. ITS CALLED MURDER!!!

  • Professor Jul 17, 4:02 p.m.

    I hear the courts singing guilty guilty send her to prison. lol

  • OleNCNative Jul 17, 3:51 p.m.

    This sounds like a mercy killing. If that turns out to be the case, free her.

  • jaw8823 Jul 17, 3:51 p.m.

    I hope this turns out to be this this guy died w/o his wife killing him. She can't handle jail. Look at her she didn't have anything to do with this and no one knows yet.

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