A 44-year-old Texas man is facing charges of first-degree murder after his ex-wife’s body was discovered. The 37-year-old woman disappeared as Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, and her body was found in Chambers County. She was last seen on Aug. 25 in her boyfriend’s living room. She left to go pick up her children from her ex-husband with whom she shared custody. Her family became alarmed when after she sent some text messages, they did not hear from her again.
On Aug. 29, in a Motel 6’s flooded parking lot, her car was found unlocked with the keys inside. Although the hurricane had hit three days earlier, police said they did not believe the disappearance was hurricane-related. They said they thought that the person who abandoned the car had hoped someone would take it.
The woman’s divorce had been finalized in June, and she and her husband shared custody of their 5-year-old and 8-year-old. The woman’s uncle said he was unaware that there had been fighting between the two, but her boyfriend said there had been a number of arguments.
When people are charged with violent crimes, the approach taken to their defense will depend in part upon the specific situation. For example, there are certain types of evidence, such as eyewitness accounts, that it may be possible to dispute in court as unreliable. If law enforcement has gathered any evidence illegally, that evidence could be thrown out, or the entire case might be dismissed. If there is significant evidence against a person or the person plans to plead guilty, the focus might shift to mitigating the severity of the sentence. For example, an attorney might attempt to demonstrate that what appears to be first-degree murder was actually an accident.
Source: ABC News, “Missing Texas real estate agent’s body found, ex-husband charged with murder“, Lauren Effron, Sept. 10, 2017