Woman Can’t Withdraw Plea In Husband’s Murder
BAY CITY (WWJ/AP) - The Michigan appeals court has reinstated the murder conviction of a Bay County woman who repeatedly shot her husband in the back in December, 2009.
A judge had allowed 48-year-old Rebecca Shimel to withdraw her guilty plea to second-degree murder, saying her lawyer was ineffective. But the appeals court overturned that decision in an opinion released Wednesday.
Shimel said her lawyer did a poor job by not fully exploring a battered-spouse defense and explaining the plea deal in 2011. But the appeals court says evidence of abuse was thin.
The court says Shimel probably wouldn’t have received a better outcome if she’d chosen not to plead and the case had gone to trial.
Shimel was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison; but, If convicted of first degree murder, she would have spent the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Autopsy results showed 48-year-old Rodney Shimel suffered nine entry wounds to the back and head.
Rebecca Shimel said she was “scared to death” of her husband.
“I relive it every time I close my eyes,” she told the court in 2011. “It won’t go away. I didn’t want to harm Rodney, I just wanted him to stop. I was trapped in a bad situation for 26 years. He came at me. I thought he was going to hurt me.”
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