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KFDM 6 :: News - Top Stories - Singer Mindy McCready dies in apparent suicide
Monday, February 18 2013, 04:11 PM CST
Singer Mindy McCready dies in apparent suicide

HEBER SPRINGS, ARKANSAS - by CHRIS TALBOTT and JEANNIE NUSS/The Associated Press


Perhaps there was one heartbreak too many for Mindy McCready.


Watch KFDM News at 6 for reaction to McCready's death, including discussion from an organization that works with people who need treatment for depression.


The former country star appears to have taken her own life Sunday afternoon in Heber Springs, Ark. Authorities say McCready died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head and an autopsy is planned. She was 37, the mother of two young sons.



If confirmed, it was at least her fourth suicide attempt since 2005, ending a series of tumultuous public events that marked much of the singer’s adult life.


Speaking to The Associated Press in 2010, McCready smiled wryly while talking about the string of issues she’d dealt with over the last half-decade.


“It is a giant whirlwind of chaos all the time,” she said of her life. “I call my life a beautiful mess and organized chaos. It’s just always been like that. My entire life things have been attracted to me and vice versa that turn into chaotic nightmares or I create the chaos myself. I think that’s really the life of a celebrity, of a big, huge, giant personality.”


This time it seems the whirlwind overwhelmed McCready. Her death comes a month after that of David Wilson, her longtime boyfriend and the father of her youngest son. He is believed to have shot himself on the same porch of the home they shared in the small wooded community of large lakefront houses about 65 miles north of Little Rock, Ark., and his death also was investigated as a suicide.


It was the most difficult moment in a life full of them. McCready issued a statement last month lamenting his death. And she called him her soul mate and a caregiver to her sons in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show.


“I just keep telling myself that the more suffering that I go through, the greater character I’ll have,” she said, according to a transcript of the interview.


Like so many times before, McCready showed a little toughness in the midst of a personal storm, again endearing herself to her fans. But as usual, the brave face for the camera hid a much more complicated internal struggle that surfaced publicly time and again over the last 10 years.


This time, along with her remembrances of finding Wilson as he lay dying, she also answered questions about whether they’d argued earlier that evening about an affair and if she’d shot him. “Oh, my God,” the “Today” transcript reads. “No. Oh, my God. No. He was my life. We were each other‘s life.”


It’s unclear what circumstances led to McCready taking her own life, but it appears she was struggling again with twin issues that have persisted for years—substance abuse and the custody of her children. She checked into court-ordered rehab and gave her children up to foster care earlier this month after her father asked a judge to intervene, saying she’d stopped taking care of herself and her sons and was abusing alcohol and prescription drugs.


It’s not clear where her sons, 6-year-old Zander and infant Zayne, were Sunday.


A deputy stationed outside McCready’s home Sunday night referred questions to the Cleburne County sheriff, who was unavailable. Yellow crime-scene tape cordoned off the front yard and a dark-colored pickup truck sat in the driveway.


News of McCready’s death spread quickly Sunday night on Twitter, with major country stars paying their respects to the onetime Nashville darling.


“Too much tragedy to overcome. R.I.P Mindy McCready,” wrote Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks.


And Carrie Underwood added: “I grew up listening to Mindy McCready...so sad for her family tonight. Many prayers are going out to them...”


Melinda Gayle McCready arrived in Nashville in 1994 still in her teens with tapes of her karaoke vocals and earned a recording contract with BNA Records. She had a few memorable moments professionally, scoring her first No. 1 hit almost immediately.


“Guys Do It All the Time,” a self-assured dig at male chauvinism, endeared her to female fans in 1996. She also scored a hit with “Ten Thousand Angels,” and her album of that title sold 2 million copies.


Beyond that, though, she’s mostly remembered for a string of dramatic moments as she spent the next 15 years chasing another huge hit. Her problems included a custody battle with her mother over one of her sons, arrests, overdoses and discord in her love life.


She made headlines in April 2008 when she claimed a longtime relationship with baseball great Roger Clemens. Published reports at the time said she met the pitcher at a Florida karaoke bar when she was 15 and he was 28 and married. Clemens denied the relationship. A decade earlier she was engaged to actor Dean Cain, but the two never married.


She also had a turbulent relationship with Billy McKnight, a country singer who is the father of her oldest son. McKnight was arrested in 2005 on charges of attempted murder after authorities say he beat and choked her.


During this period she also pleaded guilty to obtaining the painkiller OxyContin fraudulently at a pharmacy and got probation.


She violated the probation with a drunken driving arrest in May 2005, a few days before McKnight was arrested. And in July 2007, she was arrested in her hometown of Fort Myers, Fla., on misdemeanor charges of scratching her mother, Gayle Inge, on the face during a scuffle and resisting sheriff’s deputies.


Less than a year later, McCready was arrested and charged with violating her probation by falsifying her community service records relating to the 2004 drug charge. A month later, she entered an extended care facility for undisclosed treatment, and followed that with a 60-day jail sentence. Inge took custody of Zander.


There were at least three suicide attempts between July 2005 and December 2008.


She tried to get help in an unusual way, joining the cast of “Celebrity Rehab 3” with Dr. Drew Pinsky. McCready came off as a sympathetic figure during the show’s run. Pinsky called her an “angel” and in an interview in 2010 said it appeared McCready was doing “rather well.”


Pinsky helped treat McCready for love addiction on the show and said he’d referred her to professionals who could continue to help her afterward.


“A love addict basically is somebody that really didn’t have a good model for intimacy in their childhood, often times traumatized in one way or another, thereby intimacy becomes a risk place, becomes an intolerable place,” Pinsky said. “And so what they tend to do is attach themselves to idealized, bigger than life, unavailable others, specifically go after some public figure that’s married or go after some rock star who is himself a sex addict and not interested in a relationship, and then idealize that person and actively pursue them to the point of obsession.”


McCready suffered a seizure in one of the show’s scarier moments. Test showed she has suffered brain damage, something she attributed to her abusive relationship with McKnight.


McCready is the fifth celebrity to pass away since appearing on Pinsky’s show and the third from Season 3. Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr and “Real World” participant Joey Kovar both died due to overdose. In the months after her stint, she said she found some peace and told The Associated Press in early 2010 she hoped to get her career restarted, write a book about her experiences and begin production on a reality show with her brothers. She’d just met Wilson and talked openly about their relationship, though the producer and musician declined to speak on the record.


With a publicist, reporters, cameras, makeup artists and musicians swirling around her during a press day for her last album “I’m Still Here,” McCready fended off questions about a sex tape and said she and Wilson started out as friends.


“And I’ve never had a relationship like that before where we started completely as friends,” she said. “It turned into friends really caring about each other and then it turned into love and I’ve never had that happen before.”


At the time, Pinsky thought the relationship was on the right track: “She’s an easy person to like and to care about and we hope she does well,” Pinsky said. “So far so good as far as I can tell.”


McCready said her main goal in 2010 was to pull her family back together: “I would like my son back with me and for my brothers and I and he to be able to go and do this (TV reality show), and I think after that I will be a pretty happy girl.”


The new album debuted at No. 71 and failed to gain radio airplay. McCready’s plans never materialized and she soon was in legal trouble again, this time fighting for custody.


McCready took her older son from her mother, the boy’s legal guardian, in late 2011. She fled to Arkansas without permission over what she called child abuse fears. Authorities eventually found McCready hiding in a home without permission and took the boy into custody.


She and Wilson had their son in April 2012.


Music Writer Chris Talbott reported from Nashville, Tenn.


Associated Press writer Tamara Lush contributed to this report from Tampa, Fla.

Singer Mindy McCready dies in apparent suicide

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Port Arthur Police investigate the cause of an early morning fatal accident

Fatal Traffic Accident on Gulfway Drive in Port Arthur

See July 4th celebrations in SETX

Rollover sends 5 people to the hospital

Reaction to fatal alligator attack

KFDM News apology to our viewers

Fire consumes home in Orange

Alligator attacks and kills 28-year-old man

KFDM learns new exclusive details of fatal alligator attack in Adams Bayou in Orange County

Experts explain the causes of gator attacks

Haley Bull reports live at noon from scene of fatal gator attack

James Ware is live at the scene where a man dies after he was attacked by an alligator

KFDM Quickcast for Tuesday, July 3, your brief look at stories making the news

KFDM learns name of victim of fatal alligator attack

Deadly alligator attack in Orange County

Port Arthur gunshot victim taken to hospital

Beaumont Police investigate stabbing

"Hey Buddy": One officer's act of kindness toward a young boy

Fireworks Survival Guide Part Two

Swimming with sharks in the Gulf of Mexico

Judge deciding whether to suppress evidence in fatal crash case

Louisiana man charged with Aggravated Rape, Aggravated Incest

KFDM Quickcast for Tuesday, July 2, your brief look at stories making the news

PAPD searching for gunman who robbed convenience store

All clear given at DC Navy yard following probe into reports of shots fired

Breaking News: Reports of possible shots fired at Washington D.C. Navy Yard

Texas to receive nearly $1 billion in settlement with BP

Fireworks Survival Guide

Police release pictures of two people they say may be involved in causing significant damage at Groves Middle School

Fireworks dangers, safety tips

Millions owed in outstanding fines to Orange County; county taking action

Popularity of golf carts in Port Neches raises concerns about driver safety

Lightning sparks fire that destroys Jasper-area home

BBB warns about "free" gift cards on web sites

Fire damages bus used to transport PA plant workers; driver escapes

Chambers County issues warrants for two in death near Wallisville

Hardin County last in SETX to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Tonight at 10: Fireworks Survival Guide - keep your family safe

Your Family -- new proposed overtime rules explained

Orange County man guilty of possessing child pornography

PALT features zany Alice in Wonderland

State Fire Marshal: Fireworks can have lethal results.

SBA approves $30 million in Texas disaster loans

Texas man pleads guilty to Hate Crimes law

Breaking: OPD arrests loan business robbery suspect

Benefits offered for same-sex spouses of Texas state workers

KFDM Quickcast for Monday, July 1, your brief look at stories making the news

Obama: US embassy in Havana marks 'new chapter' in Cuba ties

Outside lane of I-10 closed Wednesday from Adams Bayou to SH 87

Beaumont gives traffic, safety alert for 4th of July celebration downtown

Rifle-toting robber holds up loan business in Orange

OK Top Court: 10 commandments monument must come down

Pickup truck overturns at 69/73 in Port Arthur

AME church on fire in South Carolina

Beaumont City Council denies councilman's request for specific use permit to open law office

Some Justices of the Peace won't perform weddings

Gator expert demonstrates potential dangers following attack at lake

Orange County same-sex couples seek marriage license at county clerk's office

CrimeStoppers needs your help to solve burlary

Explosive threat causes evacuation of Chambers County site

Prosecutor: Gulf cartel head sentenced to 30 years in prison

Tom Wright previews the big Beaumont July 4th celebration

Your Family -- Same-sex marriages may affect health care

Beaumont man killed in crash near Spurlock Road in Jefferson County

Jefferson County Tax Assessor warns of scheme

California enacts strict vaccination law

$45 million expansion announced for Delta Downs Casino Hotel

State Dept. warns U.S. citizens in Greece of banking disruptions

Obama pushes to make workers who earn up to $50,440 eligible for overtime

Liberty County men arrested for theft of Mauriceville Utility District truck, generator

Hutto, Tx, man jailed on truck theft charges

Chris Christie running for president 'to change the world'

Traffic Alert -- I-10 lanes closed, Hollywood to College

Couple celebrates first same-sex marriage in Jefferson County

Your Family: warm weather food safety

Same-sex couple at Jefferson County Clerk's office talks about importance of being able to marry

CHRISTUS announces transformation, new facilities in SE Texas

Beaumont ISD names Fred Shafer Executive Director of Special Education

Jefferson County same-sex couple gets 72-hour waiver. Can marry now

KFDM Quickcast for Monday, June 29, your brief look at stories making the news

Dispose of old prescriptions safely, for free

Corey Crenshaw takes over as Judge

Jefferson County Clerk's Office opened longer to issue same-sex marriage licenses

First same-sex marriage in Jefferson County

Supreme Court puts on hold Texas anti-abortion law

Reaction from Clerks Offices Monday to same-sex marriage license applications

NBC to Donald Trump: "You're fired"

GasBuddy -- gas prices resume slow fall

Top Court upholds use of drug implicated in botched executions

Fire department on the scene of 3 house fires in Beaumont

Texas AG says state workers can deny licenses to same-sex couples

Alligator attacks father and son in Chambers County

Local religious leaders speak out on same-sex marriage ruling

Gunshots fired near Port Arthur businesses; police search for shooter

Teammates remember former West Brook football player killed at work

San Augustine crash kills Orange woman, injures four others

West Brook H.S. graduate dies in work accident

Coaches and parents seek ways to keep kids safe while playing football

Groves Wet and Wild Family Festival and Beaumont car show

Helping Hands clean up Pleasure Island

Same sex couples celebrate Supreme Court ruling, Jefferson County waits on issuing marriage licenses

$600,000 budget for improvements in downtown Port Arthur

KFDM learns USW ratifies contract with ExxonMobil; final contract to be signed in area

The latest on Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have right to marry

Gov. Abbott tells state agencies to preserve religious liberties

KFDM Quickcast -- brief look at stories making news

County Clerks examining how to proceed following same-sex marriage ruling

Local blood drive to honor military

Obama delivers eulogy for Charleston church pastor

Oversized loads Friday, Saturday to slow Chambers traffic

Steelworkers ratify contract with ExxonMobil

Diocese of Beaumont releases statement on same-sex marriage ruling

One of New York prison escapees shot, killed by police

Weber releases statement opposing same-sex marriage ruling

Babin says ruling is direct attack on states' sovereignty

Over 400 file claims with FEMA for Trinity River flood

Governor Abbott releases statement in response to same-sex marriage ruling

Orange Police arrest man for armed robbery of Texas Country Store

Seattle Seahawk Earl Thomas says he has proposed to girlfriend

$18 million approved for road projects in Southeast Texas

KFDM obtains mugshot of former TAN executive director Peggy Gibson, accused of taking $363,000 from agency

Supreme Court rules same-sex couples have a right to marry in all states.

Police arrest suspect in terrorist attack in France

Southeast Texans debate Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare

Former TAN executive director Peggy Lynn Gibson posts bond on theft charge, released

Friend remembers the four women killed in head-on collision

Church remembers victims of Buna car wreck

Supreme Court allows "impact" in Fair Housing enforcement

Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies

Report: All Galveston beaches free of bacterial contamination

Officer Hebert Fish Fry continues his legacy

Missing Port Arthur Woman found

Butler leaves as BISD superintendent

Your KFDM Quickcast -- a brief look at stories making news

Watch: Outside Supreme Court - Obamacare ruling major victory for President

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Business News

US wage growth falls to record-slow pace in 2nd quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. wages and benefits grew in the spring at the slowest pace in 33 years, stark evidence that stronger hiring hasn't boosted pay. The slowdown also reflects a sharp drop-off in bonus and incentive pay.

Consumer News

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News

BETTY WHITE - CECIL

BEVERLY HILLS, California (AP) -- Betty White is known as a big-time animal rights activist.

Get This

GRANDMOTHER-GETAWAY DRIVER

ROCKAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- It's not exactly quality time with grandma.

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: BUSINESSMAN FINDS PHONE AFTER IT FALLS OUT OF PLANE

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (AP) -- A Texas businessman is thanking his technological stars for helping him find his iPhone after it fell out of a plane during a flight from Houston.


 

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