Leath case: state tries again to exhume former Knox Co. DA's body

Leath case: state tries again to exhume former Knox Co. DA's body

Raynella Dossett Leath Raynella Dossett Leath

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- With his widow, Raynella Dossett Leath's, murder trial on the horizon, the state is making its fourth attempt to have the body of former Knox County District Attorney Ed Dossett exhumed.

Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, who presided over Leath's mistrial earlier in March in the shooting of her second husband, David Leath, denied the state's last exhumation motion in December 2008.

In its new motion, the state writes, "Because of the revelation made in the David Leath murder trial, it is readily apparent that the defendant, Raynella Dossett Leath, possesses the knowledge and the capability to administer medications in a unique and lethal manner."

Dossett was terminally ill with cancer when he died in 1992, apparently trampled by cattle.

His death was ruled accidental, but the state claims an autopsy suggested he had enough morphine in him to kill him.

The state says it now has testimony from the Leath trial that supports the argument to exhume Dossett's body, claiming witnesses for both sides supported the possibility that Leath could have killed Dossett.

If this motion is denied, the state writes that the Tennessee attorney general will pursue an appeal.

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