Kernersville woman denies killing her husband, claims his own daughter killed him

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A Kernersville woman at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit said in court papers Monday that she didn’t kill her husband; one of his daughters did, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. 

Carolyn Marshall is accused in a lawsuit filed this June in Forsyth Superior Court of remarrying her ex-husband, Bruce Carlton Marshall, 64, after finding out she was cut out of his will and then killing him the next day through an overdose of pain medication and alcohol.

The lawsuit alleges that Carolyn Marshall put at least three Fentanyl pain patches on her husband’s body all at once instead of one every 72 hours and giving him alcohol.

Bruce Marshall, a U.S. Marine who served in the Vietnam War and retired from the U.S. Postal Service, died Feb. 7, 2013.

The couple had been married 30 years before separating in 2006 and divorcing in January 2013. They remarried Feb. 6, 2013, the day before Bruce Marshall died.

In a response filed Monday by her attorneys, George Cleland and George Cleland IV, Carolyn Marshall, who has not been charged criminally in her husband’s death, denied the allegations and said that Bridgette Marshall Yeager, one of Bruce Marshall’s two daughters, should be named the defendant in the wrongful-death lawsuit and not her.

Carolyn Marshall also alleges in her response that Blair Marshall Beck, Bruce Marshall’s other daughter, should not have been made executor of her father’s estate because she failed to take the state-required oath.

Carolyn Marshall had been the executor of Bruce Marshall’s estate but Beck successfully sought to remove her. Beck filed the wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of her father’s estate.

John Vermitsky, one of two attorneys representing Bruce Marshall’s estate, had not seen the response when contacted Monday morning and could not immediately comment.

The lawsuit said that Carolyn Marshall constantly complained about her husband and his alcoholism but had to continue seeing him because she was financially dependent on him. When the couple divorced, however, she drove around in her neighborhood with a drink in her hand yelling that she was free, according to the lawsuit.

Carolyn Marshall, the lawsuit alleges, immediately regretted her decision to divorce after realizing she had been cut out of the will in accordance with a separation agreement and that she would no longer share in Bruce Marshall’s pension or benefits related to her husband’s military service or post office employment.

But Carolyn Marshall, while acknowledging problems in her marriage related to her husband’s alcoholism, said in her response that she remained devoted to him and continued to care for him with his various health problems even after they separated.

And when they divorced, the couple immediately regretted it, Carolyn Marshall said in her response. In fact, she said, Bruce Marshall wanted to find a way to stop the divorce but it was too late.

Carolyn Marshall also alleges that on Feb. 7, 2013, when her husband died, she had placed two Fetanyl patches on her husband, and that Bridgette Yeager or her husband must have put the third one on.

She also said that Bridgette Yeager was the one who gave Bruce Marshall alcohol that day, not her, as it is alleged in the lawsuit.

Carolyn Marshall said that on that day she left her husband’s house for several hours to run errands and had told Bridgette Yeager to make sure her father didn’t fall too deeply into sleep. When she got back, Bridgette Yeager was watching television and Bruce Marshall was slumped in his bed, fast asleep, according to Carolyn Marshall’s response.

Bridgette Yeager left, and Carolyn Marshall said she watched television for a few minutes, left to feed her dog and returned 30 minutes later to find that Bruce’s air tube was blowing constantly “indicating that he was no longer breathing.” Carolyn Marshall called 911.

Bruce Marshall was later declared dead at the house.

Carolyn Marshall said in her response that their marriage was difficult because Bruce Marshall had violent outbursts, was arrested multiple times and struggled with alcohol. But she said she stayed with him, hoping that he might change.

Lt. Kevin Clodfelter of the Kernersville Police Department said in June that the criminal investigation into Bruce Marshall’s death was closed on Aug. 29, 2013 after it was reviewed by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Martin.

Clodfelter said Carolyn Marshall cooperated with the investigation and that police found no evidence of foul play.

No trial date has been set for the lawsuit.


  • T

    Personally knowing the family I find it completely distrubing Caroline is making such accusations. She is nothing more than a money hungry liar.

    She had a pastor come to the hopstial where Bruce was admitting so she could “remarry” him…days later he is found dead & she walks away with everything he ever earned.

    If that doesn’t sound pre-meditated I have fully lost all hope in humanity.

    My prayers go out to Bruce’s daughters for they do not deserve such accustations.

    Carolyn Marshall is a MURDERER.

  • T

    I was so upset writing my previous comment, please excuse the typos. *Carolyn

    & Correction about my previous statement:

    She had a pastor come to Bruce’s home shortly after learning about his diagnosis of Cancer.

    The pastor was brought by Carolyn to the hospital where Bruce was admitted. The lawyer was brought in so Carolyn could change Bruce’s will now that they had been remarried.

    The facts paint a pretty ugly picture of this woman.

  • GodKnows

    I know this family very well also. Carolyn took care of both Bruce & his mother even after her divorce to Bruce. She put up with his drinking & verbal abuse for years on end. She loved him very much and would never murder anyone. If his children loved him so much, where were they all these years. The fact of the matter is that Bruce knew his children did not care anything for him so that is why he left them nothing in his will. This whole thing is nothing more than greed on their part, not Carolyn’s. How can you murder a man who is dying of cancer and was given a short time frame to live by the doctors & who also killed himself slowly over the course of years and years of drinking?

    • T

      Well that shows how naive YOU are!

      Bruce knew his daughters cared for him. I’ve witnessed multiple encounters where his DAUGHTERS were at his home cooking him dinner, keeping him company and helping him take care of whatever needed to be done. Where was this “caring” wife you speak of? Because she was most certainly not with him.

      His daughters also live in two completely different states. Both have their own children they have to raise making it difficult at times to visit. However, they always figured it out & like I stated before….when they saw Bruce, they TOOK CARE of him.

      As far as the cancer, he was going to fight it! You have no idea what his exact medical diagnoses was or his “expected” time frame so stop making your own assumptions.

      Thanks for your input though! NEXT TIME know the FACTS.

    • T


      Bruce is their father! How dare you ever make a remark such as that! What if your father passed away & you were unable to keep anything of his. Nothing to remind you of him, no pictures, nothing! That woman you are vouching for took it ALL! That is greed, you idiot.

      She his will changed while he was in the hospital. He was heavily medicated but she still made sure her attorney was there to have it signed. She did not even inform his daughters they had remarried until after he was dead.

      Carolyn is the definition of greed.

  • JLM

    How awful this must be for a family to be so torn apart. Not sure how old the children are but apparently Mrs. Marshall was married to Mr. Marshall for a big part of their lives. The attorneys are going to eat of the value of the entire estate. A close friend of mine had a will contested a couple of years ago and the attorneys and mediation absorbed $500,000 of the estate. The only thing left was some personal affects. The money and house was taken for attorney fees.

    I do believe from reading the articles about this case that Mr. Marshall loved this woman or he would have never remarried her.

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