by Ginny LeFever
July 16th, 2000
|I was married to an addict
for 11 years. Over the years, predictably, his drug use escalated.
I became tired of supporting him and his drug habit. He had become
abusive to me and our children. I filed for a divorce, and he eventually
left the house. The children, (then 8½, 7, 4½, and
4), and I spent several weeks living in a battered women's shelter, then
moved back in after he moved out.
He came over a week before the divorce was to be final, on the pretext of getting the last of his things from the garage and to see the kids. In the evening, I left for about 20 minutes, and proved this at the trial. During my absence, I believe he took some household poisons and some prescription anti-depressants of mine (Elavil). I never saw him take anything, and I didn't notice anything unusual when I returned.
I am a registered nurse, he was an addict. His treatment records (for drugs) were introduced at the trial. His toxicology reports from the autopsy showed that, in addition to my Elavil, he had consumed alcohol, marijuana, and opiates.
The state's experts testified at least 9 times that my husband died of an intramuscular injection of Elavil. Once, one of the experts said that arsenic may have contributed to his death, but that he died of a shot of Elavil. They decided that I somehow took my own tablets, about 20 of them, somehow crushed them up and made some time-released injection out of them, and did such a good job that the coroner had to find the injection mark with a magnifying glass. He died in the hospital after about 18 hours.
During that hospitalization, the nurse in the ER gave him a shot of thiamine at the same place where I was supposed to have injected him- it was the thiamine site the coroner found- it is in his hospital records. He had tablet remnants and traces of the household poisons in his colon- the state decided that I rectally inserted those. However, his hospital records and the trial testimony show 5 hours of raging diarrhea. Had those materials been inserted, they sould have washed out with the diarrhea.
Never mind that those materials were more that 8" up, and he was bigger and stronger than me, was violent, and no means to do such a thing was ever found after an exhaustive search of my house. All the evidence against me was circumstantial.
I am from a relatively small town, Newark, with a small-town mentality. My very expensive attorney convinced me that I would never get a fair trial, in spite of the fact that we were able to seat a jury. I tried the case to a single visiting judge. When he found me guilty, he stated that, "The court will never know how this crime was committed, only the defendant can tell us that," and found that I had no motive.
The marriage was over. I had a career, and was taking the kids and moving to California where I had a job. My husband was not contesting the divorce, and I did not profit from his death. The judge went on that, "even though she was caught in no lies or mistakes," he simply did not believe me, then went on to enumerate the circumstantial evidence against me.
I have been represented on appeal by 3 very good attorneys, who have consulted with various experts and have affidavits and suppoting documents from 3 scientists- top experts in their fields - who can debunk the state's theory. The actual cause of death was chronic and acute arsenic poisoning, probably due to his cocaine abuse. I am actually and factually innocent, I just can't get anyone to listen.
Justice John Holschuh, a Columbus Federal District Judge, has written that he thinks I am actually innocent, and that he would not have convicted me, but that innocence alone is not enough in the Federal Courts. The 6th Circuit denied my appeal on July 6th. My experts have never testified, all I need is a hearing.
Innocence does not seem to be enough. The court of public opinion seems to be my last option.
views and opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily
those of the webmaster, however, wrongful conviction and
imprisonment are quite obvious.
©2000-2003 IIAO, Inc.