Service Remembers Former City Council Member

Posted at 9:56 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 23:41:37-04

Members of the Murfreesboro community came together to show their support for a former city council member who was stabbed to death last week.

Mary Huhta was killed Friday in Florida.  Police said her husband, James, confessed to the crime.

Friends filled the pews at the St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro Tuesday night for a prayer vigil in honor of Mary.

Both Mary and James were active in the church and in the community.  Mary, 79, was a former realtor, and Murfreesboro City Council Member.  James, 78, was a retired MTSU history professor who helped create the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation.

“She always had a smile,” said Rev. Martha Touchton, at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.  “They had a beautiful home filled with antiques.  They were always very gracious.”

Those who knew the couple said they had a strong relationship, and they couldn’t understand why the tragedy occurred.

“What happened wasn’t anything you would have expected,” said Dr. Craig Goff, Pastor at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.  “I didn’t see anything that could cause me to think that could happen.”

“I don’t know what would have come over Jim,” added Touchton.  “I don’t think he would have intended to hurt her in any way.”

Police say Mary's life ended Friday at the couple's condo in Riviera Beach Florida.  They live in Florida for part of the year to be near grandchildren.  James grabbed a knife from the kitchen, went into his bedroom and stabbed Mary several times in the stomach.  He then jumped from the second floor balcony.  James was taken to the hospital where he confessed to killing his wife.

James Huhta was last listed as stable at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Church leaders said a memorial service for Mary Huhta will be held the end of next week at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, but details are being finalized.