First day of deliberations ends with no verdict in Raynella Dossett Leath trial

First day of deliberations ends with no verdict in Raynella Dossett Leath trial

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Raynella Dossett Leath Raynella Dossett Leath

By ANN KEIL
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A Knox County jury was handed the case in Raynella Dossett Leath's re-trial Sunday morning and deliberated for much of the day without reaching a verdict.

This is the second time she has waited for a jury to decide her fate on charges she shot her husband, David Leath, in the head on March 13, 2003 in their bedroom.

Raynella Dossett Leath's first trial for his death ended with a hung jury in March 2009.

The jury of nine women and six men began hearing arguments and proof presentations in the trial on January 19.

Judge Richard Baumgartner handed the case to the jurors for deliberation after 10 a.m. on Sunday. They deliberated until about 4:30 p.m. and will return on Monday at 9 a.m.

"It's been hard to sit and wait. It's been so long and we're just tired. We want the truth and for it to be over," says Ava Douglas, David Leath's cousin.

At one point, family and friends of Raynella Leath and her late husband David Leath sat quietly in the courtroom hoping for a verdict.

Instead, the jury asked to rehear the 911 call Leath made in March 2003.

Dossett Leath covered her face with her hands as she listened to her frantic cry for help in the recording.

It was the only time she showed emotion throughout Sunday's proceedings.

"We hope and pray it'll go our way," says Douglas.

During the trial, prosecutor Richard Fisher told jurors David Leath's death was carefully contrived by Leath's wife to look like a suicide.

He was shot three times. The medical examiner said it was impossible for Leath to have shot himself because the second shot killed him instantly.

A toxicology report showed David Leath was drugged with a combination of drugs similar to what's used for patients having surgery.

Raynella Leath was, at one time, a registered nurse.

Defense attorney Jim Bell countered prosecution's arguments, just as he had in the first trial, by saying that no evidence directly connected Raynella Leath to the shooting. No blood was found on her clothes and no gun residue was found on her hands.

Raynella Leath is awaiting trial in August for the 1992 death of her first husband, former Knox County District Attorney Ed Dossett.

His death was initially believed to be accidental when he was trampled by cattle, but prosecutors are now trying to prove he died from an intentional overdose of morphine.


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