Church Hill woman takes plea, gets 10 years for killing husband

Jeff Bobo • Feb 26, 2008 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — A Church Hill woman charged with first-degree murder in the 2006 shooting death of her husband was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday in exchange for a guilty plea to the reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Patricia Anzie Ledbetter, 44, was accused in the Aug. 27, 2006, shooting death of her husband David Guy Ledbetter, 41, in their home at 1063 Jessie Lane, Church Hill.

In her statement to police, Ledbetter claimed she was sleeping on the couch when her husband woke her, accused her son of stealing pills from him, and attacked her.

“We were struggling,” Ledbetter said in her statement. “He had a 9 millimeter in his hand. He said that I didn’t love him. We were struggling over the gun. I think that is when the first shot went off. We were standing up. He fell straight down on the couch. He got up and had a knife in one hand and a .38 (caliber revolver) in the other. There was blood everywhere. I had blood on me too. We were struggling, and the gun went off. He immediately fell to the ground. We were standing up when the gun went off. When he went down I kicked both guns away. I got rags and applied pressure.”

The autopsy report stated that two bullets entered David Ledbetter with a downward trajectory, one of which struck his spine and the other which went through the ribcage and into the “belly.”

Church Hill Police Department Detective Dustin Dean testified during Ledbetter’s preliminary hearing in November 2006 that as the murder scene was being processed Ledbetter said “she had to do it” and made several utterances including “that he had a knife and a gun in his hand, that he had just a knife, and that he was raping her and had a knife in one hand and a gun in the other.”

Ledbetter was initially charged with first-degree murder. Assistant Attorney General Doug Godbee said following the sentencing Tuesday that family members and investigators agreed to the reduced plea agreement to voluntary manslaughter.

Godbee said the self-defense claim was contradicted by physical evidence.

“There were inconsistencies in her story about the self-defense — where it supposedly happened and what he (Mr. Ledbetter) was supposedly doing,” Godbee said. “The evidence found at the scene with blood stains on the couch didn’t match her version of events.”

Ledbetter will be eligible for parole after serving 30 percent of her sentence.

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