Whoever said the truth will set you free….lied! I sat in the county jail for 12 months waiting for my turn to tell what really happened, with the anticipation of the truth setting me free. The prosecutors never spoke to me or my family to try to understand what could have possibly went on. All they cared about was the fact that I lied in the beginning so in their minds I must be a horrible killer. Some of the accusations they launched at me were so outlandish I couldn’t believe that we were actually in a courtroom. They tried to paint me as a jealous, scorned woman. They implied that I executed my husband but never sought 1st degree murder. They belittled me and humiliated me all over again. They were never intrested in the truth…only a conviction. How else can you explain that they never even considered my version of events even though there was absolutely no evidence that contradicted what I said. I didn’t have a hidden lover, I didn’t Google “how to kill my husband” days before, I hadn’t bragged to a jailhouse snitch. Nothing in evidence was ever brought up to contradict me, just a bunch of speculation and suppositioning. During my first trial I was found guilty of murder in the second degree and sentenced to 35 years in prison. I appealed the conviction based on lack of evidence and faulty jury instructions and was afforded a new trial after spendeing 4 years in prison. During my second trial, the prosecutor changed his tactics and instead painted me as an angry, vindictive woman. The prosecutor even persuaded the medical examiner to change his testimony as to the position of my husband and myself when I shot him. Once again, no evidence was presented to contradict my version of the events. Just an over zealous prosecutor trying to hold on to a conviction. In the end, the jury found me guilty of a lesser charge, manslaughter, but my judge still sentenced me to 30 years in prison. During both of my sentencing hearings my husband’s family testified, under oath mind you, that they had no knowledge of abuse in our relationship and that I was cold and uncaring. They did not testify to the fact that I paid for his funeral in full, that I raised his daughter, even when we were seperated, that I was the liaison between them and him because he hardly felt the need to come around. None of those things were ever mentioned. My daughter asked the judge where were they when he was beating on me and her and my son were hiding in the closet? My husband has a criminal history of violence against me and others but yet the prosecutor acted as if it was so far-fetched that I could have killed my husband in self-defense. They said that because I was educated and came from a “good” family I should have known better and I should have just left. They made it seem like it was all my fault and my husband was solely a victim. Never a liar. Never a manipulator. Never a perpetrator of violence. Never a wife beater. Only a victim.
Noni J. Stinson