Raynella Dossett Leath on re-trial for 2nd husband's murder

Raynella Dossett Leath on re-trial for 2nd husband's murder

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Raynella Dossett Leath Raynella Dossett Leath

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Raynella Dossett Leath is on trial for the second time for the murder of her second husband.

Raynella is accused of shooting David Leath in the head on March 13, 2003 in their bedroom. Her first trial for his death ended with a hung jury in March 2009.

Raynella pleaded not guilty after the indictment was read Tuesday morning.

The evidence in this case and the theories by the state and prosecution about what happened remain the same as in the first trial.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Richard Fisher played part of Raynella's 911 call from the night of David's death. Then he explained why he believes David was murdered, rather than committing suicide.

Fisher said three shots were fired and the second shot killed David instantly.

He told the jury David was also drugged with a combination similar to what's used for patients having surgery.

Fisher argued that David's murder was carefully contrived by Raynella.

In his opening argument, defense attorney Jim Bell said the jury didn't hear the entire 911 call made to report David's shooting, so they don't know the whole story.

Bell played the 911 call, although the voice of his investigator could also be heard. He said it was inadvertently included.

Bell also told the jurors they may not hear from any defense witnesses or from Raynella.

The state called Knox County sheriff's Sgt. David Amburn to the stand. He was one of first officers to arrive on at the scene at David and Raynella's home.

Amburn said Raynella was laying in the front yard not moving. He said when he nudged her with his foot, she started to cry and told the officers "Help him! Help him! He's been shot!"

After the gun was introduced into evidence, the jury was allowed to examine it.

Judge Richard Baumgartner excused one juror for family reasons before opening arguments.

The jury is now made up of 12 jurors and two alternates. Jurors are sequestered for the re-trial. They were seated last week.

Leath is also expected to stand trial in August for the 1992 death of her first husband, former Knox County District Attorney Ed Dossett.

The cause of Dossett's death was initially believed to be accidental when he was trampled by cattle.

But prosecutors are now trying to prove Dossett, who had cancer, died from an intentional overdose of morphine.


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