Judge denies new trial for Raynella Dossett Leath

Judge denies new trial for Raynella Dossett Leath

Raynella Dossett Leath (source: Tennessee Department of Correction) Raynella Dossett Leath (source: Tennessee Department of Correction)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knox County judge has denied a new trial for Raynella Dossett Leath in the murder of her second husband in 2003.

She was convicted in March 2010 of first degree murder for shooting retired barber David Leath. The first time Dossett Leath was tried in March 2009, it ended in a hung jury.

Dossett Leath's attorney just filed a pleading Friday seeking a new trial on the grounds of insufficient evidence and juror misconduct.

Judge Richard Baumgartner, who presided over the trials, denied the request the same day.

But the defense also filed a motion in November 2010 to vacate the verdict because a part-time assistant attorney general also has a private law practice.

Judge Baumgartner wrote in his ruling that he agreed with the state, finding there was no conflict for prosecutors.

Dossett Leath's attorney even claimed that Knox County Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan's praise of the work by the Knox County Sheriff's Office forensic unit amounted to "improper bolstering." The judge disagreed.

Judge Baumgartner also denied a motion to acquit Dossett Leath and wrote that he did not think any juror misconduct involving deliberation by a thirteenth juror was proven.

The court heard arguments from the defense and the prosecution in a hearing on Monday.

Dossett Leath was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

Judge Baumgartner begins an indefinite leave of absence from the bench on January 31 due to medical reasons.

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