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Husband charged with stabbing death of wife in new home

During the past several years, James and Marsella Lippert of Hampton visited Myrtle Beach, S.C., a number of times and came to like the area so much that about a year ago they decided to move there with their two young children.

But on Nov. 21, whatever dreams the Lipperts had of making a new life in the coastal resort ended in violence.

About 8:40 p.m., Horry County officers responding to a domestic violence call in Myrtle Beach's Carolina Forest community say they were met by James E. Lippert Jr., 48, who had blood on his clothing and hands, police said.

Lippert told officers that he had just killed his wife, according to investigators, who found Marsella, 39, with "severe facial trauma and what appeared to be several stab wounds throughout her chest area," according to a police report.

Lippert was arrested and charged the following day with murdering his wife, according to police. He is in jail without bail.

"They really liked the (Myrtle Beach) area, " said Tammy Butcher, Marsella's sister. "They thought it was a good place to open a business and raise their children."

Butcher of Mt. Hope, W.Va., said her brother-in-law had recently opened a restaurant — Lunchbox 'n' at — and was involved in the restaurant business while living in the Pittsburgh area.

Butcher declined to comment on the couple's relationship.

"We are all deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy," Butcher said in a statement. "Marcy was a devoted and loving mother to two beautiful young girls and a sister to four siblings.

"The family is completely shocked by this news, but we are confident that the investigation will bring justice to our loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She will be sadly missed by all."

Butcher said neighbors cared for the Lipperts' 5- and 8-year-old daughters until relatives could pick them up.

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