Woman Accused of Murdering Her Husband Found Not Guilty

DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.

On July 31, 2015, our client, then a 34-year-old-wife and mother of two young children, came home to her Vienna, Virginia residence after being at work all day to discover that her husband had been shot and killed while he was in bed in the master bedroom.

Our client not only had to deal with the grief of losing her husband, but she also had to endure the nightmare of being accused of murder. Fortunately, Peter Greenspun and all of the lawyers and support staff at Greenspun Shapiro were available to provide the experienced criminal defense representation needed to establish her innocence.

What Happened That Fateful Day

Our client’s husband did not feel well the morning of his death and stayed home from work. He planned to rest before going to work, and then go kayaking with a friend.

Our client’s sister, who lived with the couple, knocked on the bedroom door during the day to check on her brother-in-law, but he did not respond and she did not enter the room. When our client returned home that evening, she went to check on her husband and discovered him murdered in his bed. The dresser drawers were pulled open and the room was in disarray. She left the room so her children would not see their father and called 911 for help.

The police determined that her husband had been shot at close range in the back of his head with a .40 caliber handgun. Our client’s husband had recently borrowed a .40 caliber handgun from his brother-in-law. This borrowed gun and his cell phone were both missing.

The police never recovered the murder weapon but immediately focused on our client as the killer.  In adamant terms, our client maintained her innocence from the first accusations by the police that day, and throughout the investigation, indictment and trial. In May 2016, our client was charged with premeditated murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The prosecution alleged this was a purposeful and cold-blooded execution style murder.

Peter Greenspun and Anastasia Kranias’s Aggressive Representation of Our Client in this two week High-Profile Murder Trial Resulted in a Not Guilty Verdict

The jury trial began in late June 2017, almost two years after the murder. This case was highly publicized from the initial court proceedings until the verdict was reached. Throughout the two-week trial, Mr. Greenspun and Ms. Kranias provided our client with a thorough and aggressive defense, and supported her as she responded to the allegations.

The prosecutor’s case against our client was based on circumstantial evidence. At the trial, the prosecutor alleged that our client had had an affair with a co-worker and wanted to get rid of her husband, and thus had a motive for murder. While there was no actual affair, the Commonwealth asserted that she killed her husband the night of July 30, 2015, while their two young children slept and staged the scene to look like a robbery.

Peter Greenspun mounted a dynamic defense for our client throughout the criminal proceedings and at trial, vigorously challenging the prosecution’s witnesses and theories, including the medical examiner’s opinions as to the time of death, and crime scene officers’ conclusions about the location and positioning of the actual shooting. Our client courageously testified despite having the constitutional right not to do so in her own defense. She testified for over five hours, maintaining her innocence throughout her testimony. She admitted having an inappropriate emotional relationship with a co-worker, but said she had turned to him only after her husband had an affair. She testified that she and her husband were in a very difficult stage of their marriage, and stated without hesitation, and while looking directly at the jurors, that she did not kill her husband or have anything to do with his death.

Peter Greenspun also disputed the prosecutor’s alleged motive for the killing. He pointed out that our client had cooperated fully and allowed the police to question her for hours on multiple occasions without an attorney, including going through the ordeal of being accused of the killing.  The police offered alternative, less serious explanations to give her an “out” and expectation of lenient treatment and a short sentence.  She listened and understood what they said and told the police, as she eventually told the jury, that she was not looking for lenient treatment because she did not kill her husband or have any part in his death.  Mr. Greenspun also argued that our client had no motive for killing her husband. She was a successful accountant at Fannie Mae making approximately $120,000.00 per year, and her husband had been working as an engineer. She had no debt or other reason to murder her husband. Mr. Greenspun maintained that the police very quickly focused on her as the culprit and failed to explore other avenues.

The jury deliberated for a day and a half. Despite indicating at one point that they were deadlocked, the Court directed the jury to keep working. The jury, in just over three hours of ongoing deliberations, reached a verdict of not guilty of both offenses. Our client’s family thrilled with the verdict, and our client extremely relieved and is looking forward to picking up the pieces of her life.

Have you been charged with a crime? Our experienced criminal defense team is here to explain what you can expect in your criminal proceedings and to help you build a strong defense. Call our office to schedule your free consultation today.

MEDIA COVERAGE

The Washington Post

NBC Washington

 

Not Guilty Verdict