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Alabama woman sentenced to 40 years in killing of husband

January 6, 2021 GMT

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman convicted of killing her husband in front of one of their children was sentenced to 40 years in prison after a court rejected defense claims she was mentally ill.

Michelle Owens, 48, of Decatur received the penalty during a hearing Tuesday before Morgan County Circuit Judge Stephen Brown, the Decatur Daily reported. She will be eligible for parole consideration after serving 15 years.

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A jury convicted Owens of murder in October in the killing of Lawrence Edward “Eddie” Owens, 44, rejecting her claims of mental illness. The man was shot to death at the couple’s home with a pistol in June 2016 as one of their young sons watched, evidence showed.

The defense told a judge in court documents that there was no doubt that the woman suffered from a serious mental illness since she’d been diagnosed with a disorder at a Tennessee hospital just a few weeks before the slaying.

But prosecutor Garrick Vickery said the sentence was fair. During the trial, Vickery told jurors Owens had the “presence of mind” to buy the revolver and ammunition at two different stores and to keep her older teenage son out of the house after the shooting.

Owens did not make a statement at the sentencing hearing.