For second time, DA tries to prove woman killed husband - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

For second time, Limestone DA tries to prove woman killed husband


It has been almost twelve years since a Limestone County man died under mysterious circumstances. His wife was convicted of poisoning him in 2003, but that was overturned. Prosecutors believe Kathy Birge killed her husband for insurance money, and they're getting another chance to prove it.

At a hearing Thursday, District Attorney Brian Jones told Kathy Birge's attorneys that his office will try her for capital murder case, and that they may again exhume Cecil Birge's body. Issues with forensic evidence are what led the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to overturn the guilty verdict in 2007. The court ruled there were problems with the chain of custody concerning who handled the tissue and fluid samples taken from Cecil Birge's body.

Before standing trial for murder, Kathy Birge had pleaded guilty to forgery and was convicted of theft by deception for forging her husband's will to make her the beneficiary of his life insurance. She is serving 20 years in prison for those crimes. As for the new murder trial, Jones said his office is starting over from scratch. Cecil Birge's remains are buried in Indiana.

"We're going to have to go back to Indiana, go back through the records, use the testimony that was used in the first trial, try to see if we can close the gaps. And if we cannot close the gaps from back in 2001, then we're going to have to back up there and exhume the person," Jones said.

There is no date set for trial in this case yet. In 2001, the coroner reported Cecil Birge had between 25 and 30 pills in his system when he died. Kathy Birge wanted to have his body cremated, but his daughter from another marriage had the cremation blocked with a court injunction.

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