The Reagan County Sheriff's department arrested Freida Zuberbueler, 51 of Big Lake, on Thursday and charged her with Aggravated Assault causing Serious Bodily Injury, a 2nd Degree Felony.

Sheriff Jeff Garner confirmed Friday morning that his department responded to a call at Reagan Memorial Hospital early on Thursday morning about a potential spousal abuse charge. That call came from hospital staff.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Deputy Nick Hammer responded to the call at 7:04 a.m. at RMH for the family violence call.

Hammer arrived on scene to find Freida's husband, Stephen Zuberbueler, lying in RMH's Emergency Room 2. He was reportedly in a vegetative state and not responsive.

Hammer noted large bruising all over his chest and right arm. He also had bruises on both legs by his knees. There was also a large cut on the side of his nose.

Deputy Hammer was informed by hospital staff that Stephen was bleeding in his brain and that was the reason he was unresponsive.

The affidavit states that Freida, a biology teacher at Reagan County High School, had informed hospital staff she had hit him at their home.

In an interview with Freida, Deputy Hammer was told she struck Stephen on his right temple area of his head with her left hand. At that point he started to get a headache and throw up.

The affidavit states Freida told Hammer Stephen had been "hitting her chest" emotionally so she physically hit him back.

Mrs. Zuberbueler told Deputy Hammer the other bruising on his body was from a few weeks ago and Stephen was taking blood thinner medicine.

According to the affidavit, Freida told Hammer she knew that one bad incident could kill him and any bleeding might cause his death.

Stephen Zuberbueler was transported to Shannon Hospital in San Angelo.

Sheriff Jeff Garner said Stephen is in critical condition.

The incident was turned over to Texas Ranger Philip Kemp for investigation.

"Due to the potential severity of the situation we made the decision to turn the investigation over," Garner said. "We had several discussions within the department and with the district attorney, and decided it would be best to have the Ranger investigate. They have further reach than we do."

Reagan County deputies secured the Zuberbueler residence, located at 1008 North Georgia Avenue in Big Lake, until the Ranger could arrive late Thursday evening.

"Our deputies did a good job with the initial investigation and obtained an arrest warrant for her," Garner said. "There is the potential for murder charges if Stephen is not able to pull through. That is why we called in the Ranger."

Garner said any further charges are likely to come through a grand jury if the worst case situation occurs.

Mrs. Zuberbueler was released from the Reagan County Jail on a $25,000 bond late Thursday night.

A 2nd Degree Felony carries with it a punishment of two to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

As with all criminal cases, Freida Zuberbueler is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.