Sandra Melgar convicted of murder in husband's brutal stabbing

by darkspilver 14 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • darkspilver


    Houston woman convicted of murder in husband's brutal stabbing

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017
    Jurors discount her claim that intruder was responsible
    Melgar maintained her innocence in the Dec. 22, 2012 killing, which occurred the day before the couple's 32nd wedding anniversary.

    Sandra Melgar guilty of killing husband, faking home invasion on Houston couple's anniversary night

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017
    A Harris County jury Wednesday convicted Sandra Melgar of murder in the 2012 stabbing death of her husband Jaime Melgar.

    Jury deliberating in murder trial of Houston wife accused of stabbing husband

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    Prosecutor Colleen Barnett said Melgar was motivated to kill her husband and stage a break-in for a $500,000 life insurance policy. She also said Melgar's religious beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness made her look for a way to get out of the marriage without a divorce, which would have left her ostracized.

    Described as 'model family,' wife now charged in husband's death

    Friday, August 1, 2014
    Her son is dead and daughter-in-law is charged with murder, facts that Ines Melgar just can't fathom.

    Couple tied up in home, husband killed

    Monday, December 24, 2012
    A husband was tied up and stabbed to death and his wife was found restrained in a closet last night in their Kelsey Meadows home in what appears to be a deadly home invasion.
  • Simon

    Kind of a sad indictment of the belief system - didn't want to get divorced because that would have meant being ostracized by the religion ... but decides staging a murder is OK.

  • darkspilver


    Woman gets 27 years in stabbing death of husband

    Thursday, August 24, 2017

    Sandra Melgar was sentenced Thursday to 27 years and a $10,000 fine for killing her husband.

    An hour earlier, prosecutors said she manipulated her family, her church friends and even her lawyers, in closing arguments of the punishment phase of the 57-year-old's trial for murder.

    "They drank the Kool-Aid," prosecutor Colleen Barnett told jurors. "The devil is in the details. When you put together all the little details, it all adds up to guilty."

    The housewife was facing a punishment ranging from five years to life in prison after being convicted Wednesday of murder in the 2012 stabbing death of her husband.
  • Vidiot

    Agreed, Simon.

    Most murders are acts of desperation.

    And the WT worldview and subculture definitely can and does foster desperation.

  • Scully

    It says something about your belief system when being so desperate to be rid of your spouse compels you to decide that murder is the better option over divorce.

    Makes you wonder how horrible her marriage was, truly.

    "she was motivated by a $500,000 life insurance policy"

    Of course, she was...

  • darkspilver

    Interestingly the Houston Chronicle run the above story - which I linked to as an 'update' above - with a COMPLETELY different headline in the PRINT version of the story - with what appears as the same body content:

    Lawyer says the jury ‘got it wrong’ in fatal stabbing of client’s husband

    Houston Chronicle, Thursday, August 24, 2017 (Print edition, page A3)

    “Sandy Melgar is innocent, and the prosecution certainly didn’t prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” defense attorney Mac Secrest said as he left the courtroom. “I think the jury got it wrong.”

    The couple’s adult daughter, Liz Rose, said the decision was a miscarriage of justice and declined to comment further.

    In a case that attracted national attention, the three-week trial featured no forensic evidence, no motive other than a life-insurance policy, and a lead detective who was later fired for shoddy work, including backdating a search warrant in another murder case.
  • Vidiot
    "...the three-week trial featured no forensic evidence, no motive other than a life-insurance policy, and a lead detective who was later fired for shoddy work, including backdating a search warrant in another murder case..."

    Wait, seriously?


  • darkspilver

    Vidiot: Wait, seriously? WTF?

    Yeah, apparently so.

    The story has been overtaken by Hurricane Harvey in the news - but, yeah, I also understand that TV's Dateline is interested and was taking video footage for a prospective TV documentary on the case....

  • darkspilver


    A Daughter’s Outrage After Mom Is Convicted of Murdering Dad in Staged Home Invasion: Why She Says the Verdict Is Wrong

    People Crime, Thursday, September 7, 2017

    When Sandra Melgar was convicted last month of murdering her husband in 2012 and then staging the scene to look like a home invasion, perhaps no one else was more dismayed than the couple’s daughter.

    “A gasp went through the courtroom,” Elizabeth Rose, 32, tells PEOPLE of the August 23 guilty verdict. “It was a complete shock.”

    Melgar, 57, was sentenced to 27 years in prison following her first-degree murder conviction — despite her insistence that she and husband Jaime Melgar, 52, were the victims of someone else’s crime.

    Not so, prosecutors successfully argued, pointing to Jaime’s $250,000 life insurance policy and the couple’s religious beliefs as Jehovah’s Witness, which made a divorce difficult, as likely motive for murder.

    Sandra’s defense team did not return a request for comment. But her daughter is standing by her and is vowing to appeal.

    “I am pretty outraged and pretty upset,” Rose says. “This has been a huge miscarriage of justice. I never thought it would get this far, I didn’t think she would ever be convicted. I thought she had a fantastic shot of having this dismissed and here we are.”

    While her parents had sporadic disagreements, Rose says, their relationship was never violent. “It was never yelling or screaming or being abusive,” she says. “They never called each other names. I never even heard them say ‘shut up’ to each other.”

    Rose believes detectives had tunnel-vision from the start and failed to look at other potential suspects.

  • darkspilver

    The Australian weekly magazine, Who (the sister magazine to the US magazine People) has published the following article as a 'double-page' spread in last week's PRINT edition.

    It appears that the article is based on the one that appeared in the US People magazine (see post above in this thread) BUT looks like it has been completely re-written.

    Cold-blooded Killer or Victim?

    WHO, Monday, September 25, 2017, print edition pages 52 and 53

    A US jury finds Sandra Melgar guilty of fatally stabbing her husband for money - but she insists he was killed in a deadly home invasion

    It was supposed to be a joyous party. Friends and family of Jaime and Sandra Melgar arrived at the couple’s Houston, Texas, home on Dec. 23, 2012, planning to help the couple celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary. But once Jaime’s brother and his family let themselves inside the house through an open garage door, they instantly knew something was very wrong. They could hear a woman screaming for help, drawers were pulled out in the couple’s bedroom and jewellery boxes were strewn around the bathroom. Jaime lay in a pool of blood in the closet, dead from 31 stab wounds. The screams were coming from Sandra, who was in a separate closet, loosely bound by her wrists and ankles. She said she believed they had been victims of a home invasion, but that she had suffered a seizure and had no recollection of what happened. “It haunts me every day,” says the couple’s only daughter, Elizabeth Rose, 32. “I wish I had more answers.”

    Authorities think they already have the answers - and that they all point to Sandra. During a three-week trial in August, prosecutors charged that Sandra, now 57, fatally stabbed her husband, Jaime, 52, with one of their kitchen knives and then staged a break-in so she could benefit from a $US250,000 life-insurance policy. On Aug. 24, jurors agreed and found Sandra guilty of firstdegree murder, sentencing her to 27 years’ prison. “There just isn’t any reasonable evidence that it was anybody else but her,” says Harris County district court chief Colleen Barnett. Sandra continues to maintain her innocence and her defence team plans to appeal her conviction. Her daughter is standing by her: “A gasp went through the courtroom when the verdict was read,” says Rose. “It was a complete shock.”

    At the trial, prosecutors cited inconsistencies in Sandra’s story and introduced evidence suggesting Jaime was already dead when he was tied up. They also pointed to a cloudy fingernail on Sandra’s right hand indicating that she had used cleaning solution to wipe up evidence at the crime scene. But the defence counters that homicide detectives decided Sandra was guilty from the start and ignored leads - such as a swathe of blood on a safe - that may have pointed to other suspects.

    Those close to the Melgars wonder how the couple’s 32-year marriage could end so violently. The pair lived a quiet, comfortable life, with Jaime working as a computer programmer for a school district and Sandra running her own medical billing and coding business. “They liked to go out and have dinner,” says Rose. “They’d hang out with friends. Sometimes they would stay at home and have drinks together and watch a movie. They evened each other out pretty well.”

    So how could a seemingly perfect relationship end in murder? Even the prosecutors don’t have a concrete answer. “There were no disputes between them really,” says Barnett. “But when I listened to her statement to the police, I could tell that there were some sore spots.” At trial a witness testified that Sandra’s religious beliefs - the Melgars were Jehovah’s Witnesses - oppose divorce. “They were not allowed to divorce unless the spouse has committed adultery, which Jaime had not done,” Barnett says. “I think that was part of the motive.”

    As the case heads to appeal, Rose says she will keep fighting to prove her mother didn’t kill her father. “They were happy together,” says Rose. “I feel like I have lost everything. I am always going to question this.”

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