Local News

Michelle Theer Seeks Reversal Of Conviction In Husband's Slaying

Posted November 14, 2006

— Nearly two years after a military wife was found guilty of conspiring with her lover to kill her husband, her lawyers argued Tuesday that the conviction should be overturned.

Michelle Theer was convicted in December 2004 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and is serving a life sentence in the state women's prison in Raleigh.

Air Force Capt. Marty Theer was shot and killed on Dec. 17, 2000, at his wife's office. Army Staff Sgt. John Diamond was convicted of gunning down Marty Theer and is serving a life sentence in a military prison.

Appellate lawyer Daniel Pollitt cited 11 reasons that the state Court of Appeals should throw out Michelle Theer's conviction.

"There is no direct evidence, no eyewitness evidence. There is no physical evidence. There is no confession. There is only very weak circumstancial evidence on a theory of accessory before the fact to sustain this conviction," Pollitt told the appeal court justices.

Jurors never should have heard evidence from several witnesses about Michelle Theer's alternative lifestyle and sexual promiscuity, he argued, maintaining it wasn't relevant to the case.

"It was just endless, endless, endless," he said. "They based their case against Michelle virtually entirely on her character. They realized they had a weak circumstantial case, and the only way they could get a conviction would be to assassinate Michelle's character."

Attorneys representing the state disagreed, saying her sexual behavior spoke to motive and state of mind.

"The relevance of any piece of evidence appears only when it's viewed in the context of all other evidence," Assistant Attorney General Jack Barnwell said.

Barnwell said e-mails between Michelle Theer and Diamond showed she used their sexual relationship to her benefit.

"This defendant manipulated John Diamond to be the triggerman. She aided and abetted him into lying to wait for her husband, the victim," he said.

A decision by the three-judge panel isn't expected for several months.
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