Local News

DA To Seek Death Penalty Against Michelle Theer

Posted August 15, 2002 4:13 a.m. EDT

— A Cumberland County woman indicted on charges of murder and conspiracy in the shooting death of her Air Force captain husband made her first court appearance in Cumberland County Thursday morning.

Despite financing a run from police for months, Michelle Theer asked for a court-appointed attorney. District Attorney Ed Grannis said he will seek the death penalty in this case.

Theer faces murder charges in the death of her husband, Air Force Captain Marty Theer, in Dec. 2000.

Police said Michelle Theer killed her husband, then went on the run from New Orleans to Florida just days before she was indicted on murder charges in May.

Matthew Cockman is Theer's provisional attorney until the Office of Indigent Services can appoint one for her.

"I think the biggest hurdle for whoever represents Theer is trying to gather all the evidence in this case. It may involve multiple states and multiple jurisdictions," he said.

Cockman said Theer had some questions for him and also asked him to contact some people for her. He would not specify who those people were. Theer has family in Colorado and New Orleans.

Because of the high-profile nature of the case, it is expected to go to trial in a rather short period of time.

U.S marshals arrested Theer in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., apartment on August 5. Officials said it appeared she had plastic surgery the morning of her arrest.

Authorities said Theer conspired with her lover, former Army Staff Sgt. John Diamond, to murder her husband, Air Force Capt. Marty Theer, in December 2000. The C-130 pilot was shot five times outside his wife's office building on Raeford Road.

Diamond's former attorney, Coy Brewer, said he believes the evidence shows that Theer was the shooter.

"The timeline doesn't make sense, unless she was the shooter," he said. "The place of the shooting at the top of the landing doesn't make sense unless she was the shooter. The shot pattern doesn't make sense for an Army trained sniper, and the gun that was used does not make sense unless she borrowed it from Sgt. Diamond."

Last year, a military jury convicted Diamond of murder, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.