Mary Jane Kimberly Lee Johns was found guilty on March 21, 2017 of kidnapping her former girlfriend, Laura Westphal, in May 2000.
According to a pre-trial ruling, Kim and Laura were in a romantic relationship from the summer of 1999 through April 2000. They lived in different states and used AOL instant messaging and e-mail to communicate.
Following their breakup, Kim appeared at Laura’s parent’s home in May 2000. When Laura returned to the home, the women departed on a drive to Iowa.
The prosecution allege Kim held Laura at gunpoint, forcing her to drive, and holding her hostage for eight days, threatened to kill Laura and would not let Laura out of her sight.
The defense say Kim did not kidnap Laura, saying that Laura left her home and traveled with Kim to avoid having her family discover her same-sex relationship and to ensure that Kim did not commit suicide.
Receipts were recovered showing they visited motels and shops, making it implausible that Kim could have held Laura at gunpoint for this length of time. The defense cite messages where Laura lied, was deceptive and concealed the same sex relationship.
Sentencing was set for August 17, 2017.
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Holly McFeeture was convicted in 2013 for killing Matthew Podolak, the father of two of her children with antifreeze in 2006.
At sentencing, Holly’s family members said she was a loving parent and a loyal and trustworthy person, who coached little league and raised her children the best she could as a single mother. “My mom is the greatest mom in the world because she is sweet and kind…I miss her,” said message from Podolak’s two younger children. Holly’s 15-year-old daughter said her mother raised three beautiful and loving children and was always there for them.
Holly was a suspect in Podolak’s death since 2006 when a pathologist concluded he died from chronic intoxication by ethylene glycol, the active ingredient in antifreeze. She was not charged until 2012, after Cleveland police received a tip that the poisoning was not an accident or a suicide.
Podolak’s family always maintained that he didn’t kill himself and that he was suffering from medical problems in the months before his death that caused him pain.
Before the sentencing hearing, McFeeture’s attorneys asked that Corrigan overturn the jury verdicts and acquit McFeeture or grant her a new trial.
They argued that state had failed to tell them that a former boyfriend of McFeeture’s, who was a key witness against her, had testified in another murder trial that sent a man to prison last year.
Jordan argued that attorneys should have been able to question him about it so jurors could weigh it in terms of his credibility. Corrigan, however, denied the requests citing plenty of evidence and testimony that the jury heard questioning the Jamison Kennedy’s credibility — or lack of credibility.
Source: News report August 28, 2013
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