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The Winston-Salem Journal
By Sherry Youngquist, JOURNAL REPORTER
Note: The reporter on this story confirmed for SSRI Stories that the man’s relatives said he took the Paxil even though he was “afraid to take it.”
He is accused of shooting his wife and neighbor while they were both sleeping
A Yadkin County man was charged yesterday with shooting his wife late Monday night while she was asleep, then breaking into his neighbor’s house and shooting him, authorities said.
Both victims were found dead early yesterday.
Yadkin authorities have arrested Robert Lane Main, 51. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree burglary. He is being held in the Yadkin County Jail, with no bond allowed.
Authorities said that his wife, Linda Kathleen Main, 47, was shot with a shotgun between 11 p.m. and midnight at the couple’s house at 1034 U.S. 601, just north of the Davie County line. Shortly afterward, someone broke into the neighbor’s house at 1032 U.S. 601. Mitchell Todd Stimpson, 40, was shot once as he lay sleeping on his couch, authorities said.
Relatives were asleep inside both houses, Sheriff Mike Cain said.
Inside the Main house, Robert Main’s elderly mother was in her bedroom when she heard noise and was startled awake. She drove to a grandson’s house in Yadkinville, where authorities say that a woman called 911 at 1:59 a.m. to report the first shooting.
When Yadkin County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the Mains’ house, they banged loudly on the door. Across a driveway that separates the two houses, Stimpson’s 13-year-old daughter heard the officers and woke up. She went to the living room and found her father dead.
“She started screaming,” Cain said.
That is when deputies discovered that a second shooting had occurred.
“We kind of think he left his residence and drove around a little bit and came back,” Cain said. “We don’t know.”
About five minutes after Yadkin deputies arrived at the Main house, a Wilkes County deputy stopped Main in a white Chevrolet van along U.S. 421. It was not clear yesterday why he was stopped. The deputy radioed Yadkin dispatchers and asked if there were outstanding warrants against Main, but none were found. So the deputy let Main go.
Minutes later, Yadkin deputies determined that Main was a suspect and sent a description to surrounding areas. Because of the earlier traffic stop, authorities knew which direction Main was heading. A Watauga County deputy arrested Maine before 3 a.m.
Main has emotional and mental problems, deputies said, and had recently sought psychiatric help. Main had no health insurance.
Family members said that he had been complaining of what seemed to be panic attacks. He would wake up in the middle of the night soaking wet with sweat, unable to breathe.
This past weekend, he had had a couple of episodes. On Saturday, he went to Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital in Elkin, where he got prescriptions for antibiotics and Paxil, an antidepressant, said Jennifer Robichaud, who is engaged to the Mains’ son, James Main
“He already had a prescription for Xanax. He didn’t want to take the Paxil. He had a lot of questions, and he was worried that this medicine would kill him. He was afraid that he would die because he said it makes him not feel anything,” she said.
On Sunday, Robert Main went to Hoots Memorial Hospital in Yadkinville.
“He was so worked up that they gave him a shot to calm him down,” Robichaud said. “They told him to come back tomorrow to speak to a mental doctor.”
After returning home on Sunday, Main told family members that he was going to commit himself to a mental hospital.
Relatives said that they called Hoots on Monday about having him hospitalized. Main did not have health insurance to cover the daily charges. So the hospital referred him to a mental-health agency in Mocksville, but his wife had a doctor’s appointment that day and ran out of time to take him in for an assessment on Monday afternoon. Relatives said they planned to take him yesterday.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions. Authorities don’t know whether Main was upset with his wife and Stimpson. In the past, Main and Stimpson were known to have disputes over Main’s chickens running loose.
Authorities said they believe that Main’s wife and Stimpson were asleep when they were shot.
Stimpson was a self-employed electrical contractor. His wife died of cancer about two years ago, relatives said. Yesterday, his daughter was taken to stay with her grandparents.
“They were innocent people. We’re all just left here to wonder,” said Kenneth Stimpson, a brother of Mitchell Stimpson.
Main’s relatives said they are also shocked.
“It is not like Robert,” Robichaud said. “There’s something wrong. He’s been trying to get help, but he didn’t have the money.”
Robichaud was the one who called 911. She lives with James Main in Yadkinville, and they were both at home just before 2 a.m., when James Main’s grandmother, Ivalee Vines, came to the door. Vines told them that Linda Kathleen Main was dead.
After calling 911, Robichaud drove with James Main to his parents’ house. They found his mother’s body inside. Soon after, deputies arrived.
Robert Main was not employed but did work odd jobs for farmers. The Mains had raised three children, as well as a child Linda Kathleen Main had from a previous marriage.
“They’re devastated,” Robichaud said. “They just don’t understand right now.”
Sherry Youngquist can be reached in Mount Airy at 336-789-9338 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.