Widow charged with husband's murder three years later

Widow charged with husband's murder three years later

November 30, 2006

By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The widow of a former Knox County district attorney now faces first degree murder charges for the death of her second husband, a popular West Knox County barber.

Raynella Dossett-Leath is charged with the 2003 murder of David Leath. He was shot in the head on March 13, 2003 as he slept in the couple's bed. The death was ruled a homicide, but it took three years for a break in the case.

Late Tuesday, a Knox County grand jury indicted the widow. She posted a $5,000 bond after turning herself in.

The crime scene was the family's 165 acre farm on Solway Road where Raynella still lives. Her first husband, former DA Ed Dossett, also died there in 1992. That death was ruled an accident. In a wheelchair and weakened by cancer, authorities believe Dossett was trampled by cattle.

In 1995, Raynella Dossett-Leath was charged with attempted murder. She was accused of firing several shots at Steve Walker inside her barn. Investigators believe she argued with Walker over a child who may have been her first husband's illegitimate son. She was never convicted in that case.

Now there is a fight over the family farm. David Leath's daughter from a previous marriage, Cynthia Leath-Wilkerson, is suing because she believes her step-mother killed her father and shouldn't receive anything from his estate.

In court documents Wilkerson states, "She comes into the court with the most unclean of hands, bloody hands, which should bar her from having anything to do with the estate of her victim."

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