Criminal Justice

'Collaborative divorce' lawyer shot her husband, then killed herself, authorities say

A Texas matrimonial lawyer who specialized in “collaborative divorce” is accused of shooting her estranged husband Tuesday night outside their Tarrant County home. She then apparently committed suicide a short time later.

Brandon Spencer, an off-duty Irving police officer, was shot twice but survived. Authorities said attorney Tiffany Spencer, 41, drove away from the home as her husband was seeking help from a neighbor and committed suicide; her body was found in her vehicle, according to NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth and the Star-Telegram.

She had filed for divorce on June 28.

News reports differ concerning the method of Tiffany Spencer’s death: The Star-Telegram says she shot herself, but had other equipment suggesting an intention to take her own life in the vehicle, while the NBC 5 article reports that sheriff’s deputies said she rigged a hose from the car’s exhaust into its interior and took unidentified pills.

The Dallas Morning News reports on its Crime Blog page (scroll down) that Brandon Spencer had come by the home to mow the lawn and do some upkeep.

Sgt. Clint Harwell of the county sheriff’s office said investigators think Tiffany Spencer approached her 41-year-old husband under the guise of discussing their divorce, then opened fire. Brandon Spencer was shot in the torso and shoulder but able to run to a neighbor’s home.

Tiffany Spencer said on her law firm website that she focused her practice on collaborative law and “collaborative divorce,” and worked to help clients avoid unnecessary conflict.

“I help people that want to resolve disputes without high conflict,” she wrote. “I help them to restructure their family in a better way by focusing on a solution that is efficient, private and respectful of relationships.

“A dispute can cause serious damages to [a] relationship. I want to help you avoid that damage. I understand the importance of moving forward in a positive way while focusing on building a better future.”

WFAA also has a story.

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