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Monday, March 4, 2024
March 4, 2024

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Camas woman described as erratic in weeks before shooting death of husband, say court records

Robert Tafolla was found dead in their home Thursday morning

By , Columbian Local News Editor

Family and friends of a Camas woman had discussed her erratic behavior weeks before she was accused of fatally shooting her husband, court records show.

Beverly Ann Tafolla, 67, appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree murder in the Thursday morning shooting death of 68-year-old Robert Tafolla.

The defense had asked to push the hearing until Tuesday, but when asked if she wanted to do so, Beverly Tafolla was unable to answer.

“I’ve never done this before,” she told Judge John Fairgrieve. The judge opted to move forward with her first appearance.

The prosecution asked she be held without bail or, alternatively, on $2 million bail. Her attorney, Jeff Riback, said there’s some evidence to suggest his client has dementia. He also said the investigation, so far, leaves room for a potential self-defense claim. He asked for a bail of $750,000.

Fairgrieve ordered $2 million bail. Beverly Tafolla will be back in court May 5 to enter an order for a competency evaluation.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Brian McVay called 911 at about 6:40 a.m. to report his mother had shot her husband at their house north of Camas. Deputies responded and found Robert Tafolla dead on the bedroom floor. There was a large amount of blood on his clothes and on the floor under his body.

Investigators with the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office determined he was shot multiple times, including in his back, arm and knee. Detectives said evidence indicated he was on the floor when at least one shot was fired, the affidavit states.

Deputies located a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver on the bed, next to the body. Five cartridges had been discharged, and the sixth chamber was empty, according to court records.

Shortly before 6 a.m., McVay looked at his phone and saw a missed call from his mother at 2:33 a.m., he told deputies. He sent her a text asking if she was OK, and she responded, “No, I need you to help me. He told me that they were coming to get me. I shot him. Can you come help?” the affidavit states. He said his mother had been worried for the last few days that Robert Tafolla would have her arrested for an alleged prior assault.

McVay drove to the house, found his stepfather dead and called 911. He and his mother waited in the living room until deputies arrived.

McVay told investigators his stepfather recently transferred $400,000 from the couple’s bank account, preventing his mother from accessing it. He also said there had been incidents of domestic violence between the two but that police were not called, the affidavit states. He also shared concerns about his mother having dementia, but investigators said there was no evidence of a diagnosis or treatment.

Beverly Tafolla was taken by ambulance to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center for evaluation. Investigators said she did not appear to be injured nor did she complain of any injuries. She screamed when medical staff tried to take blood and urine samples, according to court records.

She declined to be interviewed by investigators, the affidavit says.

Robert Tafolla’s nephew, Gilbert Reid, told investigators he had spoken with his uncle over the last few weeks. He said Robert Tafolla expressed growing concern over his wife’s behavior. The couple had reportedly gone to lunch with friends, and the friends suggested Beverly Tafolla seek counseling. This made her angry, and she caused a scene in the restaurant, according to the affidavit.

Reid said Robert Tafolla told him the argument continued until the couple returned home, where Beverly Tafolla threw a drinking glass at him. Robert Tafolla told Reid he left and stayed at a hotel that night, court records state.

According to Reid, Robert Tafolla had told him more than once recently that he had been sleeping and got a weird feeling he was being watched. He awoke to his wife standing over him in the middle of the night, according to the affidavit.

Robert Tafolla had also reportedly shared this information with his mother, Dora, who told investigators he wanted to come visit his family in California, but Beverly Tafolla was upset about him wanting to leave, the affidavit says.