Judge orders retrial in 'black widow' murder case

Judge orders retrial in 'black widow' murder case | WBIR.com:

"KNOXVILLE - A judge has overturned the murder conviction of a Knox County woman charged in the 2003 shooting death of her husband and ordered a new trial.

Senior Judge Paul Summers agreed to toss the conviction against so-called “black widow” Raynella Dossett Leath for killing her husband Richard because the judge who oversaw the initial case – Richard Baumgartner – was on drugs throughout the trial.

“Baumgartner continued his spiral into addiction and addictive behavior,” Summers said in a judgment issued Wednesday. “He was addicted to opioids, and his sickness caused him to make many bad choices. He was an addict during the Leath trial and during the entire year between the trial and the motion for the retrial.”

Summers said Baumgartner was not able to properly evaluate prior testimony, weigh evidence or “fairly make a determination to fulfill his role as thirteenth juror.”

A jury convicted Leath in 2010 of killing her husband. She claimed he committed suicide.

In March, Leath asked the judge to overturn her conviction and allow her a new trial, claiming there was new evidence that Baumgartner used drugs during her trial. Baumgartner was the focus of a TBI investigation into illegal drug use. He spent time in prison following a conviction in federal court.

Leath was also accused in the 1992 death of her first husband, Knox County District Attorney General Ed Dossett. He died after being trampled by cattle on his farm, but investigators later determined he may have been drugged and the death staged.

She was charged in Dossett's death, but the charges were dropped after she was convicted in her second husband's death.

She actually stood trial twice for Leath's death. The first ended in a hung jury.

WBIR 10News has reached out to Cynthia Schemel, the special prosecutor in the case 2010, to see whether her office intends to appeal Summers' decision."

'via Blog this'


Linda Buckner Killed the Cat Lady

If this ain't a case for ID Channel's Nightmare Next Door or Fear Thy Neighbor, I don't know what is. There is also a connection to my home state of Tennessee which is what caught my eye in the first place.

Walter Renz    Linda Buckner
Walter Renz and Linda Buckner lived in Mansfield, Ohio in a pleasant, quiet neighborhood. Next door was Patsy Hudson. Patsy was the stereotypical cat lady. She was quiet. She kept to herself without a lot of company. Those who knew her called her kind hearted and easy going. She cared for several stray cats that roamed the neighborhood as well as any other animal that found its mangy way to her doorstep.

 Walter Renz and Linda Buckner, her neighbors, did not find this quite so charming a fact as everyone else might. They would confront patsy on a regular basis with complaints about the strays and went so far as to kill one of them by poison and seriously injure another.

All this came to a head on the 4th of July 2015. Patsy filed a police report that day stating her neighbors had killed and viciously attacked her cats, constituting animal abuse. The three neighbors got into a shouting match in the yard later that day. Afterward, Patsy was never seen again. While their Mansfield, Ohio neighborhood was quiet, it wasn't without witness. Neighbors reported the argument to police but they also reported that Walter Renz and Linda Buckner moved out that night. By the time Patsy was reported missing in December and an investigation was underway, they were long gone.

Gone, as it turns out, to Tennessee, the state I live in. The pair was a rolling mess anyway. Linda has a plethora of alias's and Walter is a grade-A asshole from way back according to interviews with people who know him. The pair slithered into Tennessee in a stolen car to a a roadside campground southwest of Nashville in Lewis County, where they were apprehended by  a U.S. Marshals Task Force in February of 2016.

Patsy's bones have been found scattered throughout the county where she lived. Walter was in possession of her credit card, which had remained active since her death, when he was arrested. Linda was already wanted for bail jumping in Kentucky.

It will be interesting to see how this case progresses.


KY Woman Shoots her Parents

A Booneville, KY woman has been charged with murder in the deaths of her parents, Kentucky State Police said.

Lynette McQuinn, 48, faces two counts of murder, as well as tampering with physical evidence, in the shootings of her parents, Robert McQuinn, 70, and Ada McQuinn, 66.

The couple were found dead of gunshot wounds Friday inside their modest brick house on Wilson Lane outside Booneville, the Owsley County seat.

State police received a call shortly before 11:30 a.m. Friday from a family member of the deceased, state police said.

Lynette McQuinn was arrested Friday night and taken to Three Forks Regional Jail. She was charged with two counts of murder and tampering with evidence.

WKYT-TV reported that bond has been set at $1 million and that McQuinn’s next court hearing is May 26.