On Jan. 31, a 43-year-old Minnesota man was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder in the death of his wife, and on Feb. 2, a court sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole. The incident happened on Nov. 13, 2016.
The man and the couple's 9-year-old son had gone out to eat, and when they got home, the man called 911 and reported that his wife had shot herself in the head. However, when law enforcement investigated, a number of elements raised suspicion. None of the woman's blood was on the gun, and it was in her non-dominant hand. Furthermore, there was blood at the scene that was cleaned prior to the arrival of law enforcement.
The woman also had a drug in her system that left her incapacitated. According to law enforcement, the man had purchased it online. He had also attempted to hire a hit man online. The woman had a life insurance policy for $700,000 on which her husband was the sole beneficiary, and this was successfully argued by the prosecution to be the motive.
There are a number of ways a homicide case might proceed. An attorney might look at the evidence to decide how to mount the defense. In some cases, the aim might be to get a charge reduced. For example, the penalties for voluntary manslaughter might be less serious than those for murder. An attorney might also seek to have some evidence dismissed. If the case goes to trial, the attorney may seek to discredit evidence and testimony in the eyes of the jury. For example, if there is eyewitness testimony, it may be possible to demonstrate that it is unreliable.
Source: CBS Minnesota, "Stephen Allwine Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murdering Wife", Feb. 2, 2018