The Principal's Husband
When a spouse dies from suspicious circumstance—it works both ways that the husband or the wife are the first suspect. In this true-crime case review, the local law enforcement promptly arrested the wife, a 46-year-old elementary school principal, but then released her.
An orchard worker found her husband, a 45-year-old truck driver, shot to death in the orchard where he worked. The husband’s beloved muscle car, a 2011 Ford Mustang, was missing.
The couple had been married for 17 years. And they were raising three children (one from a previous marriage).
The school principal had been with the school district for 16 years, starting as a teacher and then moving up the chain of command to principal.
Three years after the trucker’s death, law enforcement arrested the wife for the second time. After several postponements and a mistrial, her case didn’t go to trial until six years after they had found her husband dead in the orchard.
With the help of security footage from various sources, and evidence on the day of the crime, the prosecution finally felt confident they had enough evidence to convict the school principal.
And the prosecution was right, the jury found her guilty of first-degree murder with an enhancement she used a firearm to cause his death. The Superior Court judge sentenced her to a total of 50-years to life in a state prison.
Her earliest release will be in 2041.
Worth Mentioning: There was a life insurance policy in the amount of $250,000 which may have been the motive. There were also rumors that the husband was having an affair. The true motive remains unknown.
Source: County District Attorney, CBS News, PEOPLE, Bakersfield Californian, 23 ABC News Bakersfield.