NEW DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF AN AMBITIOUS POLITICIAN CBS NEWS "48 HOURS MYSTERY" -- SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2008
Kathy Augustine was an ambitious and sometimes controversial politician who worked her way up the rankings of Nevada's government. And with a reputation of being ruthless, she developed a lot of enemies along the way. But were these enemies deadly?
In 2004, Augustine became the first state official in Nevada's history to be impeached, when she was found guilty of violating state ethics laws during her 2002 re-election campaign. In 2006, unable to seek a third term as state controller, she ran for state treasurer. But on July 8 Augustine was found unconscious in her home. She died four days later.
While a preliminary autopsy found no evidence of a heart attack or other obvious cause of death, the medical examiner did find a suspicious puncture mark. Subsequent toxicology reports confirmed the presence of a powerful drug that paralyzes the body's organs and muscles while leaving the mind conscious. Proof, detectives say, that Augustine had been murdered.
Despite many political enemies, Augustine's family was convinced her fourth husband, Chaz Higgs, was responsible. Claiming that the couple's marriage was rocky, they assert that Higgs, eight years her junior, was cheating on his wife. And as a critical care nurse Higgs had the knowledge and access to the same drug found in Augustine's system. Authorities charged him with first degree murder.
Is Chaz Higgs capable of murder? Or, was Kathy Augustine the victim of her corrupt political opponents?
Correspondent Troy Roberts reports dramatic new developments in 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Power, Passion and Poison," Saturday, Dec. 20 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This broadcast is produced by Lisa Freed and Linda Martin. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.