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Murder of Patti Wheelington by Virginia Hyatt investigated on A Time To Kill

Mugshot of Virginia Hyatt
Virginia Hyatt was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Patti Wheelington. Pic credit: Arkansas Dept. of Corrections

A Time To Kill is examining the murder of Patti Wheelington, who was shot dead by Virginia Hyatt at her home in Texarkana, Arkansas, in 2013.

On the morning of December 3, 2013, Patti was sipping coffee on her front porch when Virginia Hyatt marched up her drive and shot her five times with a .38 caliber pistol.

When the detectives delved into the case, they found a familiar tale of ex-marital affairs, jealousy, violence, and murder.

A few years previously, Virginia and her husband James Hyatt moved to the area and joined the Guys and Dolls Square Dancing Club, which was owned and operated by dancing coach Patti and her husband.

Soon after, James and Patti began an affair. Other members of the dance group would later tell detectives that Virginia had been consumed by jealousy and rage and openly spoke about hating Patti.

A few days before the murder, James decided to flee town after he and his sisters became concerned that Virginia might try to kill him. He suspected that she was mentally unstable and knew she had a gun.

In the meantime, Virginia had begun phoning Patti and showing up at her house, each time demanding that she give her her “husband back.” Patti admitted to friends at the dance club that she was becoming increasingly distressed about Virginia’s behavior.

It seems as though Patti was correct to be worried because the evidence indicating Virginia was her killer is substantial.

Plenty of evidence that Virginia Hyatt killed Patti Wheelington

As Virginia had approached Patti’s porch, the victim had been on the telephone, and she told the caller that Virginia was coming up her drive.

The cops questioned Virginia about her whereabouts at the time of the murder, and she claimed to have been ordering food at a MacDonald’s restaurant. But when the police examined the surveillance footage from the restaurant, they learned she’d lied. Virginia also told the cops that she had spent an hour at her mother’s nursing home when she’d actually only been there 12 minutes.

Finally, a search of Virginia’s home located a shirt with gunpowder residue and .38-caliber ammunition, although, the murder weapon was never found.

Virginia Hyatt was found guilty of capital murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

More from A Time To Kill

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on A Time To Kill.

The police in  Riverton, Ohio, concluded that Anne Kasprzak told her boyfriend Darwin Bagshaw that she was pregnant, and the teenager responded by brutally beating her to death.

Anita Fox wanted to do what was best for her family, but when they transferred her life insurance policy to strangers, it led to her death. Bernard “Little Joe” Gorman and his father, Bernard “Big Joe” Gorman murdered her as she cleaned her employee’s home in Colleyville, Texas, in 2014.

A Time To Kill airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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