Transcript for Trial Begins for Maine Woman Accused of Torturing, Killing Husband
Now to the woman on trial for brutally killing her husband. Prosecutors say she planned to kill him after finding out he was back in touch with an ex-girlfriend. A gruesome story. Reporter: Her husband's body was found naked with a broken flip phone on his chest. She is accused of using a plastic baseball bat and a lighter to beat him and ultimately kill him. She says she can't remember what happened that night. A battered wife suffering from mental health issues or a jealous, cold-blood murder. This week erks 50-year-old roxanne jesky will decide whether she'll take the stand. Two differing accounts of the night her husband was killed. In a 911 call, she's nearly hysterical. She said, we had an all-out, blowout fight. Mrs. Jeskey was beaten by mr. Jeskey that night. Reporter: He's pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Experts for both sides have said her ability to process and retain information was impacted when she had a brain tumor removed ten years ago. During a hearing earlier this year, the judge found her competent to stand trial. I think we presented a compelling case. Two doctors both testified that she's not competent to stand trial. Reporter: In his opening statement, her lawyer said she couldn't remember what happened when her husband died. The walls of her mind started closing in. She became a wild animal and lashed out. The prosecution rested its case on friday after painting a picture of a woman accused of visually wounding and murdering her husband with not one but several weapons. Needle-nosed pliers. A lighter. Reporter: This, after she allegedly found out he had been texting a former girlfriend. If convicted, she faces between 25 years and life in prison. A judge, not a jury, will decide the case. We'll learn later on this week if she'll take the stand. Thank you. Let's bring in dan abrams. The insanity defense the almost always difficult. She's got the burden to prove it, right? In most cases, the prosecution has the burden of proof. In the state of maine, you have the burden to prove it. Another judge has looked at this case already. Now, that is not going to determine this case. But it's interesting that another judge felt there were indications she might be faking it. That makes it harder for her in connection with this case. What does she have going for her in terms of her defense? Number one, she had brain surgery. And number two, it's clear she was beaten. Her claim is not self-defense, which I thought it would be. Now it's that she was beaten and it triggered an episode that made her unable to distinguish from right and wrong. What do you make of the decision to go before a judge not a jury? Really interesting. You would think that someone who had been beaten might say I want the sympathy of a jury. The lawyers are hoping for a more specifically legal analysis of the insanity defense. A risky decision. That will impact the question of whether she takes the stand. Knowing you're testifying in front of a judge instead of a jury, how does that help you weigh the decision? If this was a jury, you don't take the stand. Why? Think about why she didn't understand the wrongfulness of her crime. K jurors would being look at her and saying, I don't believe it. In front of a judge, there's a chance. I think it's unlikely that she takes the stand. If it were self-defense, I think she does. Thank you, dan. Time now for a check of the weather.
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