Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday morning in the murder retrial of Brian David Hummert, accused of strangling his wife from behind with a dog leash in their Fairview Township home in 2004.
Hummert, 55, remains in prison, charged with first- and third-degree murder as well as related offenses.
Prosecutors allege the Hummerts' marriage was on the rocks and that Brian Hummert strangled 48-year-old Charlene Hummert from behind with a plastic-coated cable used as a dog leash or collar on March 19, 2004. They had been married for 22 years.
Her body was found two days later, stuffed in the rear cargo area of her Land Rover in the parking lot of Giant Food Store in Fairview
The background: Brian Hummert pleaded guilty in October 2005 to third-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.
During the plea, he admitted strangling his wife in their 10 Boeing Road home on March 19, 2004.
But in May 2006, presiding Common Pleas Judge John C. Uhler allowed Hummert to withdraw his plea.
Hummert was found guilty of first-degree murder in October 2006 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
But after his conviction, he argued prosecutors withheld evidence that should have been provided to the defense. Uhler, now a senior judge, agreed.
The judge ruled he had "no recourse but to grant another trial" after determining that a "jailhouse snitch" who testified Hummert confessed to killing his wife was untruthful on the witness stand when he said he was not seeking favorable treatment on three drunken-driving cases in exchange for his testimony.
Uhler noted that although the prosecution knew the testimony was untrue, no correction was made to the jury.
- Reach Elizabeth Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.