according 33.acc.003 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

The jury in Raynella Dossett Leath’s re-trial found her guilty Monday of first degree murder in the shooting of her second husband, David Leath.

When the verdict was read, Dossett Leath’s mouth fell open in shock. She was granted a few minutes with her daughters before being taken into custody.

But David Leath’s daughter, Cindy Wilkerson, called the verdict “a burden off my shoulders.”

Wilkerson added, “Something needed to be done. He didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. They chose the right one today.”

The jury of nine women and six men announced the verdict Monday afternoon shortly after  watching video again from the crime scene. It was also shown during the trial.

The jurors returned to the jury room Monday morning. They were not able to reach a verdict Sunday after deliberating for about six hours.

There is an automatic sentence of life with the possibility of parole for Dossett Leath.

This is the second time she was tried on accusations of shooting her husband, David Leath, on March 13, 2003 and then making it look like a suicide.

The first trial for his death ended with a hung jury in March 2009.

Judge Richard Baumgartner handed the case to the jury after hearing five days of witness testimony and arguments by defense and prosecution attorneys.

According to testimony by Knox Count Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, David Leath was shot three times. She said the second shot killed him instantly.

A toxicology report showed he was drugged with a combination of drugs similar to what’s used for patients having surgery.

Dossett Leath’s attorney, Jim Bell, argued throughout the trial that no evidence directly connected her to the shooting.

She is also awaiting trial in August for the 1992 death of her first husband, former Knox County District Attorney Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire.

His death was initially believed to be accidental when he was trampled by cattle, but prosecutors are now trying to prove he died from an intentional overdose of morphine.


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