Man Suspected Of Killing Wife Before House Fire Dies In Hospital

9-Year-Old Also Passes Away
Posted at 3:39 AM, Jun 23, 2017

Two adults and a child were killed in an early morning house fire in Hermitage, which quickly turned into a murder investigation.

Crews with the Nashville Fire Department were called to the scene on Leesa Ann Lane around midnight Thursday. 

A woman, identified as 48-year-old Suzanne Daugherty, was pronounced dead at the scene, and her husband, 55-year-old Gary Daugherty, was named as the suspect.

Gary and their 9-year-old daughter, Crystal, were also in the house and were taken to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries. They were found unresponsive in a bedroom. Gary died around 11 p.m. Friday.

Saturday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., authorities confirmed 9-year-old Crystal had also passed away.

According to police, Suzanne was found dead in a room of the home and suffered suffered blunt force trauma to her head and a puncture wound to her back - injuries that were described as obvious trauma not related to the fire.

Authorities said they believed Gary allegedly put accelerant throughout the home. Plastic was taped over the windows, and the smoke detectors had been disabled.



Authorities confirmed handwritten contact information for extended family members was found in a vehicle that was parked at the home.

Metro Nashville CSI detectives and the Nashville Fire Marshal were also called to the home to investigate. 

MNPD's Domestic Violence Division had no prior contact with Suzanne and Gary Daugherty. Suzanne met with a Hermitage Precinct officer last Sunday at a friend’s residence concerning sugar being placed in her gas tank several days earlier.

Suzanne told the officer that she and her husband were going through a divorce and had a verbal argument on Monday, June 12, the day before her car wouldn't start and she found the sugar in the tank.

She went on to tell the officer she did not see anyone tamper with her car, nor did her husband threaten to do anything to it.  She did, however, believe he did it in order to keep her from visiting her lawyer.

The officer offered Mrs. Daugherty the services of a domestic counselor, assistance with an order of protection, and shelter. She declined.

If you or know anyone who may need help getting out of a domestic violence situation, call the 24 hours Crisis Hotline at (1-800) 334-4628.

Representatives with Wilson County Schools confirmed Suzanne was one of their employees. They said she had worked for the school system since 2011 and had served as a teacher at the TLC center at West Elementary this past school year. Suzanne had been working with kids in the Kids Club program this summer.

Director of Schools, Dr. Donna Wright, released the following statement:

“It’s always a sad day when something happens to a member of our school family, and the circumstances surrounding this situation have made it even more difficult. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Suzanne’s extended family, as they process this horrible tragedy.”