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Marshall discusses his wife’s suicide

Attorney General Steve Marshall speaks on a proposed rewrite of the state ethics laws. (Chip Brownlee/APR)

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) held a press conference Wednesday to discuss his deceased wife’s history of mental illness and those last tragic months of her life that ended with her suicide in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

“Folks were watching where she went and where she was going. I don’t know if it is true, but that was her perception and her reality,” Marshall said. “Her answer was to leave the state.”

AG Marshall said that his wife, Bridgette Marshall, moved to Murfreesboro Tennessee a few months ago because “she knew that she had a problem,” and was fearful that reporters would find out that she had been committed to a mental health hospital in the past and that her mental health issues would be exposed.

Steve Marshall made the point Wednesday of calling out bloggers claiming to be journalists that write false and misleading stories.

Fearing the media, Mrs. Marshall fled. Marshall said that while they knew what town she was in, they did not know what apartment she was living in until May and did not know the apartment number until this weekend.

Marshall said that he and the family begged her not to leave but respected her right to do so.

Bridgette Marshall came down from Tennessee on June 5 for the election night. They spent that night together and celebrated her birthday the next day. He spent that afternoon working on keeping his job, and when he got home, she had left a letter to him on their dresser. It is our understanding that that was the last time Steve Marshall saw his wife in this life.

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They did talk on the phone, but it was getting harder for the family to reach her. Then she appeared to get better, and there was talk of getting her an apartment in her beloved Albertville. The couple had sold their home in Albertville in February.  Marshall had an apartment in Montgomery.

Saturday she was concerned about some bruises that had appeared on her feet. They made plans for her parents to journey to Murfreesboro to take her to the hospital. On Sunday morning, they phoned her about the plans for the trip; she said, “I won’t be alive when you get her.”

Her desperate parents gave the call to Steve for him to try to talk her out of ending her own life.

“I couldn’t reach her,” Marshall said. “I am tired of being tired,” she said. “Do you want to hear it?” Marshall said no, and she hung up the phone.

According to the Murfreesboro PD, a female relative called to report Bridgette Marshall’s talk of ending her life. Marshall said he called the police.  When the police arrived, they stated that Bridgette Marshall had killed herself with a firearm.

This is the third suicide that their family has had to deal with Marshall said at the press conference.

“It is the most personal secrets that this family had, and it was robbed from us,” Marshall said.

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Marshall said that all of her family and friends are asking what they could have done differently to prevent Bridgette’s death. Marshall said that he wonders whether or not she would still be here if he had not accepted the job as Attorney General.

“I will be haunted by that for the rest of my life,” he said. “At times like this, I ask myself why anybody runs for public office.”

“Please allow us to celebrate her life and no longer have to discuss her death,” Marshall said.

Bridgette Marshall will be buried on Friday in the dress that she bought for her daughter’s wedding, an event that Bridgette did not live to see. Faith Marshall the couple’s only child.

Bridgette Marshall was 45 years old.

Steve Marshall was appointed AG by former Governor Robert Bentley (R). Marshall was a longtime Democratic District Attorney in Marshall County who switched parties a few years ago. He accepted the appointment for the post that was made vacant by Bentley’s appointment of Luther Strange as Attorney General.

Marshall will face former Attorney General Troy King (R) in the Republican primary runoff on July 17.
The eventual winner of the Republican primary will face Joseph Siegelman (D) in the November 6 general election.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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