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State highest court denies appeal in murder case

Reported by: Mel Carlock
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Updated: 5/23/2013 2:05 pm
JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) -- An Oktibbeha County woman has lost her attempt to have her conviction in the shooting death of her husband overturned.

Verina Childs, who turns 41 on Sunday, was sentenced to life in prison for the November 22, 2009 shooting death of Douglas Childs.

An Oktibbeha County jury convicted her of his death following a four day trial in 2011.

Childs appealed the verdict and life sentence claiming the state destroyed evidence, was not allowed to present an alternative theory the shooting might have been accidental, and the state failed to prove "deliberate-design murder."

In her appeal filing, Childs claimed investigators destroyed DNA and fingerprint evidence on a hunting rifle shown to be the firearm used to shoot Douglas Childs.

Investigators say they had to make a choice between the fingerprint evidence or ballistic testing and they chose the latter.

She also questions the judge's denial of a jury motion offering "accidental" as to the shooting if they jury believed it was a hunting accident regardless of who pulled the trigger.

The state objected to the instruction saying there was no evidence Douglas Childs' death was an accident and the judge did not allow the jury to hear the instruction.

Childs also argued the state did not present any evidence, other than circumstantial evidence, to prove the shooting was deliberate.

State prosecutors argue the fact a high-powered rifle was used was sufficient enough to prove "deliberate-design."

On Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the jury verdict and sentence.
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