Sheriff's deputy shot her husband when he threatened her with a knife, autopsy says

A Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Deputy shot her husband with her service weapon in January after he threw things at her and threatened her with a knife, according to an autopsy report.

James Hawkins, who was 35 and also a Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Deputy, was pronounced dead at the couple's northeast Charlotte home on Jan. 15.

His wife Rataba Hawkins is on paid administrative leave until the investigation into her husband's death is finished, the sheriff's office said. No one has been charged in James Hawkins' death.

The autopsy, which was released Saturday, found that James Hawkins' cause of death was a gunshot wound to the neck. He was also shot in the hand, and that bullet may have then entered his abdomen, the autopsy said.

Autopsy reports include a summary section that discusses the circumstances surrounding a death. In this case, the report said, there was an argument.

"The decedent and his wife ... both were off work and at home where they had been consuming alcohol and got into an argument," the autopsy said. "He apparently began throwing things and then retrieved a large kitchen knife and threatened her at which time she retrieved her service weapon and shot him. He was dead at the scene."

James Hawkins' toxicology report confirmed he had been consuming alcohol.

Rataba Hawkins was hired by the sheriff's office in 2002 and her husband was hired three years later, in 2005, the sheriff's office said.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester