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A Tennessee woman accused of killing her husband at a Beaver, Utah, motel initially told police the fatal stabbing was an accident.

Reginald Searcy fell on the steak knife she was holding in her lap, Dorothy Louise Searcy told police after the May 14 stabbing, according to an arrest warrant filed Monday in Beaver's 5th District Court.

But Searcy, 44, later allegedly admitted that she stabbed her 45-year-old husband — who had been drinking heavily and was angry — after he had been pulling her hair and slapping her in the face.

Reginald Stearcy was stabbed once in his left lung and bled to death, according to the arrest warrant.

Dorothy Searcy was charged Friday with first-degree felony murder.

She made her initial court appearance on Monday, where a preliminary hearing was set for June 27.

Dorothy Searcy, her husband, her adult son, Timothy Wilson, and Wilson's girlfriend are all from out-of-state and had been traveling around the country, said Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel. After their car broke down, they had been panhandling in Beaver, Noel said.

By Wednesday night, they were staying in a local motel, at 1450 N. 300 West.

According to the arrest warrant, Dorothy Searcy allegedly admitted to grabbing the knife that night after she began arguing with her husband and he started calling her names.

"Dorothy hit Reginald in the face with the knife hand trying to get away from him," according to the warrant, written by a Beaver County Sheriff's sergeant. "Reginald pulled Dorothy's hair harder and that was when she struck him in the upper left chest with the knife hand."

Someone called for help at 10:50 p.m., and after emergency responders arrived the injured man was taken to Beaver Valley Hospital, where he later died. The Searcys, who are from Tennessee, had been married for about 10 years, Noel said.

Twitter: @jm_miller

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