Saturday, September 26, 2009

Estranged husband sentence to life without parole for rape-slaying of wife

A Kansas man who raped, then smothered his estranged wife to death was sentenced to life without parole Thursday. Jerome Overstreet, 52, was sentenced after six hours of jury deliberation in the murder of his 51 year old wife Vicki, who he met while he was serving time in prison. Vicki was found dead in her Euless, TX apartment on November 12, 2007 after her grown son hadn't heard from her. The grown son, Lamont Webb, and Vicki's parents came to the trial from Kansas.

Although witnesses testified that Jerome Overstreet physically abused his wife during their 11-year marriage, he had visited her several times in Euless and had made another trip there to reconcile with her the weekend she died. Authorities believe that Jerome Overstreet killed her because she changed her mind about reconciling.

Questioned about his wife’s murder, Jerome Overstreet denied even being in Euless the weekend she died, Foran said.

But investigators obtained cellphone records, a Kroger surveillance tape and store receipts placing the defendant within a mile of his wife’s apartment shortly after she was last seen, Foran said.

Forensic experts also matched carpet fibers, glitter and beads found in a vacuum canister in Jerome Overstreet’s Wichita home to carpet from his wife’s apartment and glitter and beads from her clothing, he said.

And DNA experts matched Jerome Overstreet’s semen to that found on the carpet in his wife’s apartment, Foran said.

According to Steven King, Jerome's lawyer, the DNA evidence could be explained by the attempted reconciliation of the victim and the suspect. Because prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty, the only possible sentence was life without parole, introduced by Texas in 2006.

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