Woman faces trial in husband’s death — (The Topeka Capital-Journal)

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The Topeka Capital-Journal


1 September 1999

A Shawnee County woman accused of murdering her husband told detectives he asked her to shoot him and then herself and even instructed her on how to do it, according to her videotaped statement, which was played in court Tuesday.

Shortly after the 49-minute tape ended, Shawnee County District Pro Tem Judge Gene Olander bound over Kathleen Jo “Kitty” Trapp, 49, for trial on Nov. 8 on a charge of premeditated first-degree murder.

The videotape was made when Shawnee County Sheriff’s Detective Jack Metz and a second deputy interviewed Trapp at the sheriff’s department a short time after the slaying occurred at the Trapp home in southeast Shawnee County on May 27.

On that day, Phillip Trapp, 51, had finished work at his job at Frito-Lay at 7 a.m., returned home to work on a computer with another man and had gone to get a part for a vehicle, Kathleen Trapp told deputies.

On the videotape, Kathleen Trapp told deputies:

About noon May 27, Kathleen Trapp, who suffers paralysis of the left arm and left leg due to a medical problem, asked her husband to curl her hair.

Phillip Trapp told her she was a burden and worthless, that all she could do was wash dishes and wash clothes. At one point, Phillip Trapp tried to punch her, but she blocked it with her good arm. Kathleen Trapp told him she would rather be dead, and her husband asked her to shoot him.

“Do you really want to die with me?” she asked him.  “Yes, put it to my head, pull the trigger,” Phillip Trapp said, telling her it wouldn’t hurt. “Just shoot us both, put us out of our misery.”

Phillip Trapp lay on the bed with a hat on, told her to wait until he was asleep before shooting him in the head, then to be sure to shoot herself in the temple.

“So I got out the gun, put it to his head and shot him,” said Kathleen Trapp, who shot her husband with a .44-caliber Magnum revolver the couple stored in a bedside drawer.

Kathleen Trapp was preparing to shoot herself when the couple’s son, Joshua, entered the house, came upstairs and stopped her.

On the tape and in court on Tuesday, she cried several times.

“You’re out of your pain. I’m sorry,” Kathleen Trapp said on the tape after deputies had left the interview room. At another point, she apologized to Joshua, who wasn’t present in the room, for killing his father.

During the taped interview, Trapp told Metz she took several prescription drugs, including two antidepressants, another drug for pain and one to aid her in sleeping.

Dr. Donald Pojman, deputy district coroner, said Phillip Trapp was shot in the right temple either at close range by a large-caliber firearm or while the gun was held loosely against his skin.

Kathleen Trapp is in jail in lieu of bond.

On Tuesday, Joshua Trapp waited outside the courtroom during the testimony.

Copyright 1999 The Topeka Capital-Journal