Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Was Minnesota Wife Murdered Because She Asked For Divorce?

A jury in St. Paul, Minnesota is pondering the question of whether a Minnesota wife was murdered by her husband when she asked for a divorce.  Prosecutors allege that Gordon Weaver was so enraged that his wife wanted a divorce that he knocked her unconscious, doused her with flammable liquid and started their house on fire. Relying in part on a blood test performed by an outside laboratory, a medical examiner determined that Jean Weaver, 40, died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to the fire. But Gordon Weaver's defense attorney, Joseph Friedberg, said his client never meant to harm his wife and is only guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter. The defense alleges that Gordon Weaver shoved his wife during a spat, causing her to fall and hit her head on a cement laundry basin. Believing his wife was dead, he then tried to burn down their house. The defense plans to call its own medical expert to testify that Jean Weaver died from the fall.  Source. Shannon Prather, Pioneer Press, Please click here for addition information (last visted November 5, 2005, reo).

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