Dentist Charged In Wife's Shooting Death
By JACQUE HILBURN-SIMMONS
Longtime residents of a quiet, established Tyler neighborhood said Saturday they are shocked and saddened to learn one of their own is dead and another jailed for the murder.
Dr. Bobby Nichols, 75, a retired dentist, was booked into the Smith County Jail on a charge of murder about 2 a.m. Saturday, a few hours after he called 911 to report a shooting at the home shared with wife, Rosiland, 71, records show.
Authorities arriving shortly after 9 p.m. Friday at the couple's home, 3417 Allen Drive, found Nichols at the location, his wife dead in a front room of the house.
"There was an argument prior to the incident," Police Spokesman Don Martin said late Saturday.
No one else was in the home at the time of the incident, authorities said.
Investigating officers responding to the emergency call described Nichols as cooperative, displaying no resistance to their arrival.
"Mrs. Nichols had an apparent gunshot wound," Tyler Police Sgt. D. Mike Saxion said in a written statement. "Dr. Nichols was detained at the scene and (was) interviewed by investigators."
Police would not say whether Nichols had any obvious physical injuries or if they perceived there was a struggle between the husband and wife.
Nichols was subsequently taken into custody; bond was set at $750,000.
Authorities have not released a motive for the shooting or details about the circumstances that led up to it.
"There really is no update," Martin said. "Everything we're going to say has been said up to this point. No more details will be released until next week."
The couple attended First Christian Church in Tyler, records show.
Dr. Nichols supported education, helping sponsor programs offered through Tyler Junior College and the Free Enterprise Educational Institution of Texas, according to records found by the newspaper.
Messages left at the couple's church, with their pastor and with a Tyler Junior College spokesman were not returned.
The case remains under investigation, police said.
Neighbors said they were shocked to learn of the incident.
"It's a tragedy for the entire neighborhood," next door neighbor Mary Ann Cozby said. "It's a tragedy for the entire Nichols family."
People who have shared the block with the couple for years said the couple was well known and well liked in the close-knit neighborhood.
This particular area of Tyler, inside South Loop 323 a few blocks south of Andy Woods Elementary School, plans an Independence Day celebration every year, complete with a parade.
On Saturday, the beginnings of the annual cerebration were already visible -- American flags posted in front yards and patriotic banners hanging in windows.
At the Nichols home, a single flag, faded and tattered from age, was seen hanging in the back yard.
Several neighboring residents, who declined to be identified, said the festivities likely will continue as planned for Wednesday, but they fear the carefree feel of their neighborhood won't be the same.
"We just really hated to hear the news," Mrs. Cozby said.