Jury finds Sarah Melton guilty but mentally ill

By Maisie Insko | 

A verdict is reached in the Sarah Melton murder trial in Perry County.

She was accused of injuring her brother and killing his girlfriend with one shot.

It only took jurors two and a half hours to come back with a verdict in the fatal shooting of Cindy Caudill.

Melton was found guilty but mentally ill of reckless homicide.

She was also found guilty but mentally ill of assault under extreme emotional circumstances for the shooting of bill couch.

Defense Attorney Gerald Teaster attempted to pull at the heart strings of the jury as he reminded them of the alleged physical abuse Sarah Melton has endured from Bill Couch. Teaster told jurors that abuse has not only affected her mentally but his threat on the night of the shooting forced Melton to take action to protect her children.

"He said I am going to fill your trailer full of lead and she knew two things; one that her kids were there and two he was ahead of her,” Teaster said.

The prosecution attempted to fight those claims in their closing arguments.

"Three times she was asked, "Did Bill Couch say anything to you before you shot him? and she said no,” Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Combs Reed said.

Teresa Combs Reed says in an interview just four hours after the crime Melton never mentioned her kids as a motive for the shooting. Instead Reed told jurors anger was the reason.

"She was mad and she intended to shoot them both and kill them both,” Reed said.

Reed showed the jury pictures of Cindy Caudill before and after the crime and she attempted to re-focus their attention that Caudill died as a result of Melton's actions nearly one year ago.

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