Chavis Pleads Guilty to Wife's Murder
In a surprising turn of events, with opening arguments set to begin in the first degree murder trial of Bobby Lynn Chavis for killing his wife, the defendant pleaded guilty and accepted a sentence of life without parole plus 12 to 15 years. Chavis had faced a possible death sentence in the July 26, 2006, death of Audrey Stevens Chavis, then 33.
Defense attorneys Arthur Donadio and Butch Jenkins filed notice of an insanity defense. This morning (Friday) they accepted the plea agreement that spared their client's life.
According to statements previously made in court by District Attorney Maureen Krueger, Chavis bludgeoned his sleeping wife, Audrey, with a baseball bat he'd bought three days earlier. When he realized she was still alive, he went back to smother her with a pillow, watching the clock as eight minutes ticked by until she was dead.
A capital murder trial that was expected to keep jurors, witnesses, attorneys and court tied up for three to four weeks -- according to Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James M. Webb -- is over.
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