Webster County Woman's Murder Conviction Reversed - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Webster County Woman's Murder Conviction Reversed, Headed for New Trial

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Julia Surbaugh Julia Surbaugh

The West Virginia Supreme Court reversed Julia Surbaugh's murder conviction and life sentence without mercy and remanded the case back to the circuit court for a new trial.

Surbaugh was facing a life sentence for the first degree murder of her husband Michael Surbaugh. She was indicted by Webster County in January 2010 and convicted in May 2010.  At trial, the state theorized that the shooting was the result of Mr. Surbaugh's intention to leave his wife to be with his girlfriend, a co-worker.

The Supreme Court ruled that the trial judge should have allowed a jury instruction on Surbaugh's good character. "The instructional error is sufficient enough to warrant a reversal of the conviction and a remand for a new trial" states the Supreme Court opinion issued Tuesday.

Surbaugh's defense attorney, Richard Lorensen, argued that Surbaugh's good character was uncontested and integral to her defense.

The Supreme Court granted Surbaugh a new trial.  A date has not been set.

You can read more about the Supreme Court ruling by clicking here.