A murder mystery is unfolding in a Knoxville Criminal Courtroom on the retrial of Ms. Raynella Dossett Leath. Ms. Leath’s first murder trial ended with a hung jury when the jury could not reach a decision.Day Eight of the trial starts today.
David Leath was found dead of a gunshot wound in his bed. Ms. Leath’s defense is that her husband committed suicide.However, a firearm’s expert for the State of Tennessee testified at the first trial that the firearm was fired three times the day of Mr.Leath’s death and it was the second shot that killed Mr. Leath.Knoxville criminal defense attorney James A.H.Bell offered proof that Mr. Leath was depressed and his health was poor.
The jury could not reach a verdict in her first murder trial in 2007.In closing Mr. Bell argued " If you believe Ms. Raynella murdered her husband you have to believe she is nothing but a serpent of Satan". This line did two things. It personalized his client by the use of her first name.Second, it used biblical imagery which works well in the South without violating the rules against quoting the bible in court.