FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The trial of a former psychologist at the center of a deadly love triangle started Monday in Fayetteville.
Michelle Theer is accused of conspiring with her lover, John Diamond, to kill her husband, Marty Theer, who was shot five times and died in December 2000.
In opening statements, prosecutors told jurors Marty Theer was killed for money, so Michelle Theer and Diamond could live together. They said the couple made no secret of their plans to be together after the murder.
The district attorney told jurors: "The defendant is a clinical psychologist. She bragged about being a master manipulator. Do not let her deceive you as she did her own husband."
Theer's defense team acknowledges Theer is smart. They said she is smart enough to know cell phone records can be tracked, so why would she use her cell phone to plot a murder?
Defense attorneys said Theer shares some of the blame, but countered by saying Diamond became obsessed each time Theer tried to break off their relationship, suggesting Diamond committed the act on his own.
After Michelle Theer was indicted on murder charges, authorities said she had plastic surgery, cut and colored her hair and used different names such as Lexi Solomon and Liza Pendragon. The defense said Theer tried to change her name and appearance because everyone knew she was a murder suspect. Attorneys said she sought a new life after losing everything she had.
Diamond is currently serving a life sentence for the murder.
Michelle Theer cried in the courtroom Monday as the 911 tape was played from the night of her husband's death. Her mother and sister from Colorado are in the courtroom to support her.
A video store manager testified Monday that Theer had drying blood on her face and hands when she came into the store seeking help on the night of her husband's death. Chondra Fuzie, the manager of a Video Hut store, said Theer asked employees of the store to call 911 because her husband had been shot. Fuzie and Joyce Smith, another employee, testified that Theer appeared upset, but they saw no signs that she had been crying.
The trial is expected to last up to two months.