KNOXVILLE (WATE) – After days of testimony, Raynella Leath smiled through tears as her case was acquitted.
Judge Phil Summers dismissed the case of the State of Tennessee versus Raynella Leath saying the evidence was insufficient. Leath was accused of killing her husband and staging his death as a suicide, but the defense argued that her husband took his own life, maintaining that dementia and depression made him vulnerable to commit suicide.
“There’s a difference between being not guilty and being innocent,” said Judge Summers. “Being innocent is not committing the crime. Being not guilty is when the state fails to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”
Previous story: Defense rests, Raynella Leath chooses not to testify in retrial
Leath was convicted in 2010, but she was granted a new trial because of Judge Richard Baumgartner’s drug addiction. The judge was the presiding judge on the original trail and denied her motion for a new one right before he stepped down from his position.