Woman charged with killing husband collapses in court

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Tara Leigh Rice fell to the floor while facing a judge (WTVD)

The woman charged with shooting her husband at a north Raleigh apartment complex Friday collapsed while facing a judge in a Raleigh courtroom Tuesday.

Tara Leigh Rice is charged with murder in the shooting death of 54-year-old Mark Edward Rice.

Mark Edward Rice

Rice's attorney and a sheriff's deputy help support her as she appeared to faint after being told she could spend the rest of her life in prison.

One of Mark Rice's friends was in the courtroom. He told ABC11 he wasn't sure if she actually passed out.

"Maybe it was a dramatized version of her just trying to get attention or I, I don't know. I can't say. She may have passed out easily. She may have done it because she was just being a good actress," offered Richard Hinkley.

On Friday just after 3 a.m., police were called to the couple's apartment at the Bell Falls River Apartments in the 1200 block of Rio Wild Drive off Durant Road, near Falls of Neuse.

When they arrived, they found Mark Rice shot to death inside.

Friday afternoon, police charged 44-year-old Tara Rice in connection with the incident. Investigators said it was a domestic dispute.

Mark Rice was charged by Raleigh police in 2014 with assault on a female. Police said the victim in that case was Tara Rice - who suffered minor injuries.

Records showed multiple police calls at the apartment over the years. Two in 2012 and two in 2013 were for disturbances.

A neighbor told ABC11 that she would often hear arguing at a nearby apartment.

"Around 3 o'clock, I just heard some screaming," Linda Rinaldo said. "A lady was wailing, screaming really loud. Typically this couple would argue a lot ... just screaming, bickering, stuff like that. I just thought it was another fight. I had no idea it was this bad."

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