Shari Grifton and Dwight Tobyne grew up in Clay Center, Kansas. Dwight was born on May 8, 1953. Shari was three years younger than her husband, born on July 24, 1956.
Dwight’s family owned a farm. Shari’s family owned a successful propane business.
She would come to the edge of the street, jump on the tractor with him and ride around.Curt Carmichael (son in law)
Dwight Tobyne married Shari Grifton in 1975.
The couple moved to Salinas, Kansas in 1978, so Dwight could study Animal Sciences at Kansas State University. Shari worked in a hospital call center to support Dwight’s education, while she raised their three children: Jennifer, Brett and Alyson.
Dwight Loved Shari
Dwight Tobyne earned a Master of Science degree in Animal Science. He credited Shari in a report “Ronnel and its Effects on Feedlot Performance.”
Special thanks are expressed to the writer’s wife, Shari, whose encouragement and assistance made possible the completion of this paper.Dwight Nolan Tobyne
Dwight’s success was tainted, after he lost most of the couple’s assets trading stocks.
However, the ambitious Mr. Tobyne wanted to improve his investment skills. Dwight got a job as a commodities broker in Salinas, to learn about the stock markets.
Business and Fraud
The couple moved to Denver, so Dwight could study business at the University of Denver. Dwight Tobyne graduated in 1991 with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Dwight started “Tobyne and Company,” a loan brokerage company, after he graduated.
Shari got a real estate license, to generate income in case Dwight’s business failed.
Dwight’s business was successful. However, real estate agents have a strict Code of Ethics to follow.
Shari Tobyne’s real estate license was revoked in 2004.
Welcome to Arizona
Dwight suggested a move to Gilbert, Arizona, because the Arizona real estate market was booming.
Dwight also bought Shari a Jaguar — her dream car. Apparently, he was not worried about his finances or marriage.
However, Shari thought Dwight was losing interest in his business, and it would affect her affluent lifestyle.
So Dwight let Shari manage his business.
Shari Tobyne Gets Greedy
Shari Tobyne lived in a gorgeous home and drove a Jaguar. But she wanted more.
Dwight trusted her until he began receiving calls from clients, asking about his health. Shari told clients Dwight was hospitalized to delay their payments.
Dwight eventually found $50,000 missing. However, Shari said she used it for family expenses. Dwight forgave her deception.
Shari’s First Suicide Attempt
Shari stole additional money.
She sent alarming text messages to her family, and disappeared. Dwight found her at a friend’s house: unconscious from a suicidal drug overdose.
After medics revived Shari, she told Dwight why she tried to kill herself.
They owed creditors over one million dollars, despite a lifetime of continuous work.
Dwight Tobyne sold their magnificent home in Gilbert to pay debts.
The couple moved from Gilbert, to a rented condo in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The FBI investigated Tobyne and Company for fraud, in 2009.
On November 5, 2009 Dwight was advised by an attorney to divorce Shari, and block her from using their remaining financial assets.
Dwight’s brother Bryce Tobyne, invited Dwight to live with him in Enid, Oklahoma.
Dwight rented a trailer, to move from Scottsdale Arizona to Enid Oklahoma.
However, Dwight never arrived in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, as they planned.
Incredibly, Bryce Tobyne and family, did not use a telephone to try to speak to Dwight.
Shari had Dwight’s cell phone. But she could only send text messages.
Meanwhile, Shari Tobyne was broke and depressed.
She said she wanted to kill herself. Shari started her suicidal plan with a gun purchase.
She practiced shooting at a gun club on November 22, 2009.
Ms. Tobyne was ready to shoot herself between November 24th and November 28th 2009.
Where Was Dwight Tobyne?
Dwight did not arrive in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. Bryce received a text message from Dwight: “I’ve got the flu.”
A few days later he received: “I’m moving to Mexico. Please don’t tell anyone.”
Bryce thought Dwight was evading the FBI. Incredibly, he accepted the text messages without calling his brother.
The Tobyne children received similar text messages and emails. Everyone thought Dwight was in Mexico.
The Shari Tobyne Suicide Story
Shari Tobyne said she attempted to shoot herself in the master bedroom, while Dwight was reclining on the bed.
She claims Dwight saw her, and he attempted to grab her gun.
Shari’s gun conveniently discharged one bullet into Dwight’s head. He reportedly died instantly.
It was an accident. It went off.Shari Tobyne
Ms. Tobyne claims she did not report her husband’s death, because she thought nobody would believe her story.
But I think she killed Dwight, because she needed cash. Shari would have had no job / income / support after Dwight moved out.
Did Dwight Threaten Shari?
According to court records, Shari Lee Tobyne murdered Dwight Nolan Tobyne on November 24, 2009.
Shari also pled guilty to committing forgery, one day before Dwight’s murder. Did she kill Dwight because he caught her forging a check, and threatened to turn her in?
Shari Tobyne committed at least seven acts of fraud and forgery, after Dwight died.
Shari Tobyne wrapped Dwight’s 200+ pound body in a sheet, and dragged him to the garage. She wrapped the sheet with a tarp, and left her formerly dear husband in the garage.
Shari replaced the bedroom carpet to remove Dwight’s blood. A few more days of planning, convinced Shari to dismember her late partner with a saw.
She placed three garbage bags with Dwight’s remains in the trunk of her car. She drove around Arizona, leaving each bag in a different county. Finally, Ms. Tobyne parked her late husband’s truck in the parking lot of an apartment house in Phoenix.
Shari Tobyne scrubbed the garage and her truck after disposing of Dwight. After Shari moved out, her landlord reported a strong odor of bleach in the garage.
Hikers found Dwight Tobyne’s body parts, a month after his death. However, Scottsdale police were not notified until the following Summer.
Why Did Shari Tobyne Kill Dwight?
Originally, Shari Tobyne wanted more money.
After Dwight discovered her thefts, she became an unemployed 53 year old woman, without references. Shari needed money to live.
What About the Children?
Shari and Dwight Tobyne had three adult children.
Dwight planned to leave Shari before Thanksgiving. Instead, Shari told their children that Dwight moved to Mexico.
The children believed Mommy.
According to Dwight’s obituary, he was close to his children:
…He was involved in youth sports, coaching his daughter’s softball team, caddying for his son’s golf tournaments and refereeing basketball games with his oldest daughter…
Nevertheless, his son and two daughters did not worry about dear Dad’s absence for almost a year.
Shari’s daughter Alyson finally reported Dwight missing on July 21, 2010.
Shari Tobyne Makes More Mistakes
Scottsdale police followed Shari, after they received Alyson’s missing person report.
Police observed her disposing a dismantled handgun and clothing in Chandler, Arizona. She was also seen spray-cleaning the trunk of her car in Mesa.
Shari also used Dwight’s cell phone to send emails and messages, after he was supposed to be in Mexico.
According to police, Shari’s and Dwight’s phones sent Thanksgiving and Christmas greetings from the same cell tower, after Shari killed Dwight.
Shari Tobyne Needed a Better Alibi
Ms. Tobyne originally claimed she shot Dwight in his arm, before confessing to shooting him in his head.
However, Scottsdale police did not believe her suicide story.
On August 13, 2010 they arrested Shari for first degree murder and abandoning a human body.
Shari finally confessed to murdering Dwight, the next day.
Maricopa County Public Defender Gary Bevilacqua represented Shari in court.
Although Shari confessed, Arizona filed a notice, seeking the death penalty.
Ms. Tobyne requested an avowal, to avoid an execution.
No trial, because she pleaded guilty to murder, four counts of forgery, and abandoning a body.
On May 17, 2013 – over three years after Dwight died – Shari was sentenced to life plus 31 years.
Only Shari knew if she murdered Dwight accidentally, or deliberately.
I wrote to Ms. Tobyne last year. I offered to include her comments in this article. However, she did not respond to my letter.
Shari Tobyne in Prison
Ms. Tobyne worked as a library aide, computer tech and porter in prison. She earned fifty cents an hour on her last job at the “store / warehouse.”
Finally, Shari had one disciplinary infraction in 2016, for forgery.
Death of Shari Tobyne
Shari Tobyne died on January 1, 2021.
Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry did not say how she died. I will update this article, if they release more info.
In any event, Shari Tobyne spent the last eight years of her life in Perryville Prison, while other people in her age group enjoyed retirement.