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Wife jailed for shooting husband in the back

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16:07 CET+01:00
A 44-year-old woman in central Sweden has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for murder, after the district court judged her guilty of shooting her husband from behind with a hunting rifle.

”I think my husband has shot himself,” she initially said when phoning emergency services shortly after the incident in July this year.

The police officer who was first on the scene questioned the woman's version of events when he found the rifle behind the man's body, concluding that it couldn't have been suicide.

The woman, who denies the allegations, later changed her story.

”She said when questioned that she climbed onto the bed to get her mobile phone and accidentally nudged a weapon on the bed,” chief prosecutor Tomas Olsson told daily Aftonbladet.

”It's was when I put my hand on the bed, I think, when it....went off,” she said when questioned by police, according to the Expressen daily.

A bloodied night gown, found unwashed in the laundry room, confirmed to the police that the woman had been in the room when the shot was fired.

A later forensic investigation concluded that the woman's version of events could not be accurate. The weapon was fired from a distance and through a pillow, according to Aftonbladet.

The incident occurred in the couple's home and according to the charge sheet the woman had killed her husband with a shot in the back.

At the time of the shooting, the couple's two children were asleep upstairs and didn't hear anything.

Neighbours told the newspaper that they were flabbergasted to hear what had happened, as the man and the woman, as well as their two children, were well respected in their neighbourhood.

But when questioned by police the woman said that she had felt controlled by her spouse in the past and that it was always her who had to apologize after every argument.

According to chief prosecutor Tomas Olsson, money may be part of the motive for the murder, even if the state of the family's finances are not clear.

”One piece to the puzzle is that their company wasn't doing so well, but the family had money,” Olsson told news agency TT.

It is quite unlikely for anyone to take the drastic measure of shooting their spouse without an underlying reason, Olsson said.

”And this could be anything, psychological problems for example. We haven't seen any one thing that could explain what happened but rather we could see little things and we have reached the conclusion that it all added up to what happened,” he said.

According to Olsson, these kind of crimes are fairly uncommon. Although it happens that women are the perpetrators in murder cases, these tend to look differently, he said.

”When a woman shoots it is often more emotional, sometimes with drugs and alcohol involved. But I have never before encountered an incident such as this,” he told TT.

”This was a woman shooting a man. It was in cold blood and no alcohol was involved,” Olsson told Aftonbladet.

The woman has said that she plans to appeal her conviction, according to her lawyer, Urban Bjellman.

”The verdict is completely against what my client believes to be true, and I have been tasked with appealing it."

The prosecutor, however, is pleased with the verdict.

”It is a well-motivated verdict and the sentence is reasonable for the offence,” he said to TT.

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