After years of alleged abuse, a wife decided to get even by lacing her husband’s supper with sleeping pills, then beating him to death with a hammer and stabbing him 38 times.
The Gwinnett County woman, who was sentenced to life in prison for murder, appealed her conviction. But on Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the conviction and life prison sentence given to Mrs. Ashley Suzanne Schutt.
The following details regarding Mr. Gregg Schutt’s murder on July 25, 2009 were obtained from court documents:
Mrs. Schutt arrived home a little past 1 a.m. and prepared a late supper, which she laced with ground up sleeping pills, and gave to her husband.
“After he fell asleep in the master bedroom, she got a hammer and two knives and attacked her husband as he slept, beating him repeatedly with the hammer and stabbing him 38 times in the face, chest, sides, back and legs,” according to the high court’s written opinion.
“His throat and wrists were also slit, and at some point, she pulled him by his feet off the bed and onto the floor.”
The woman then cleaned up before cutting herself and her clothes. She would later tell police she and her husband were raped by three masked, black men who then killed her husband.
But officials found no evidence of rape and Mrs. Shutt gave conflicting statements in her account of what happened to investigators.
At trial in 2011 Mrs. Shutt said she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder because of her abusive husband.
She was found guilty of malice murder, aggravated assault for slitting her husband’s throat, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime and false statements.
She was sentenced to life for murder plus an additional 20 years for aggravated assault and another 15 years for the remaining charges.
She then appealed to the state Supreme Court, arguing the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction for aggravated assault, that the aggravated assault should have been “merged” with her murder conviction for sentencing purposes because the same evidence was used to prove each crime, that her trial attorney was incompetent and ineffective, and that the trial court erred by failing to suppress her statements to police.
The high court disagree with all her contentions, except one – that the aggravated assault conviction should have been merged with the murder conviction.
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