MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — The nurse and former West Virginia University cheerleader who was found guilty of murdering her husband and setting fire to their home back in November 2005 wants another trial.

Michelle “Shelly” Michael

Michelle “Shelly” Michael, now 51, is serving a life sentence in Lakin Correctional Center for first-degree murder and first-degree arson. According to the West Virginia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s website, she will be eligible for parole on June 2, 2027.

She was in Monongalia County Circuit Court on Monday in a courtroom of more than two dozen people, being represented by Tim Rosinsky. Rosinsky argued that during Michelle’s first trial, her then-attorney, Tom Dyer, insufficiently constitutionally defended her and provided an ineffective counsel.

Michelle’s defense has until March to file all the necessary paperwork in an attempt to get her a new trial. From there, the state will have until August 2024 to answer. If it’s found that Dyer did not constitutionally represent Michelle, she will receive another trial, and Dyer will be called to testify. 12 News contacted Dyer requesting comment, but has not yet heard back.

The defense also filed a motion for extra counsel, which was granted.

Michelle, who worked at Ruby Memorial Hospital as a pediatric nurse after college, was found guilty of killing her second husband, James “Jimmy” Michael. A toxicology report found that Jimmy died of a lethal dose of a drug called rocuronium, something Michelle would have access to as a nurse. Rocuronium is a paralyzing muscle relaxer often used during surgery—but which requires the use of a ventilator—because without it, it causes slow suffocation. The report determined the drug was in Jimmy Michael’s system when the fire started.

Fire investigators later found that the fire had been set deliberately. She was arrested in March 2006.

Investigators found that her motives were infidelity, an insurance payout and trouble at her job.

“If in fact James Michael died in a fire Northwestern Mutual Life would write a check to Michelle Michael for half a million dollars,” then-Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Perri Jo DeChristopher said to the jury during opening statements.

Michelle “Shelly” Michael was found guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree arson in court in 2007. WBOY file image.

The state even called Robert Teets, her best friend’s husband and the man she was having an affair with, to the stand.

“I had felt pretty much like he found out about the affair and this is—you know—this is what happened,” Teets testified at the time.

While she denied the allegations, and her defense attorney asked jurors to consider suicide as a cause of her husband’s death, saying Jimmy, as a respiratory therapist, would have access to the paralyzing drug in his system as well, a Kanawha County Jury found her guilty on all charges.

The case was moved to Kanawha County because of the amount of national media it was receiving at the time. Since then, the case has made it onto true crime shows like “Snapped.”