Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jury Finds Lady Who Admitted to Killing — Then Burying Husband's Body in Backyard — Not Guilty

Sandra Hocutt of Mobile, Alabama went on trial yesterday for shooting her husband as he lay in bed in February 2006 and burying his body in the backyard. Three years later, she walked into a police station and confessed. The 60-year-old told investigators, she hired a labor crew to dig a hole in her backyard, and she later buried her husband in the hole, covering him up slightly. She then hired a labor crew again to completely fill the hole. The prosecution says the facts of the case don't support self-defense. Yesterday, she went on trial. After one day of testimony and one hour of deliberation, the jury came back with a verdict of not guilty.
Sandra Hocutt took the stand in her own defense today. She turned herself in last year, three years after her husband, Daniel, was killed. On the stand, the 60-year-old described weeks of abuse from her husband in the days prior to her killing him. She claims she feared for her life, testifying her husband threatened to kill her several times. She said she didn't report it to police because her husband would not allow her to leave her home. She said Daniel Hocutt threatened her with guns and actually hit her with a baseball bat. Hocutt says she thought her husband was dying. She says he told her he only had a few weeks to live. She says he was abusing cocaine and alcohol at the time of his death.
According to the defense, Daniel locked Sandra inside her house for four days while her husband was in a drunken rage, shooting a gun at her several times and threatening her not to call police. "She firmly believed that it was her or him, and she did what she had to do to survive," Sandra's attorney told the court.
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