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Judge denies new trial in Donald Southworth case

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

A judge says the man convicted of killing his wife in a high profile murder case will not get a new trial.

That ruling today in the Donald Southworth case just a day before he's set to be sentenced for the crime.

Just days after a jury found Southworth guilty of murder and recommended he serve life in prison, defense attorneys filed a motion for new trial.

Last week Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell overruled three of the defenses four arguments for a new trial. The remaining argument was over a divorce document jurors requested during deliberations.

Instead, the jury was handed a substitute document, after one of the Commonwealth's witnesses mistakenly took the original, when he left the stand.

The Judge said in court, the documents given to jurors were not substantially different.

"There wasn't information that they were deprived of, that would have impacted their decision or could be cured by admonition," Judge Bunnell said.

Attorney's for Southworth have argued their client did not receive a fair trial, and that the evidence presented didn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt he killed his wife.

Judge Bunnell is reading through victim impact statements, and will officially sentence Southworth on Friday afternoon.

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