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UPDATE: Wife Sentenced to Home Confinement in Deadly Hospital Shooting

By: Brooks Jarosz, WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Brooks Jarosz, WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 3/19/13 @ 6:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After years of court battles, a deadly hospital shooting is now case closed.

Rhonda Stewart was convicted of killing her husband, Sammy, while he was lying in the intensive care unit at CAMC Memorial. Stewart says he abused her for years, but that was never talked about during her original trial. That conviction was later overturned.

A plea deal was accepted, and Stewart was sentenced Tuesday afternoon.

"Based on the evidence, I'm absolutely positive, we maximized the prison sentence based on the evidence we had available," Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants said.

She was sentenced to 10 year on home confinement with credit for time served. She spent four years behind bars.

"I want everyone to know that I'm trying to accept responsibility," Rhonda Stewart said. "I was out of my mind -- I don't remember what I did."

Stewart admitted she shot and killed her husband. Even though she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, it was up to the judge to hand down the appropriate sentence.

Prosecutors maintain the shooting was premeditated since she took the time to drive home, hide a gun in her purse, walk into the hospital and shoot.

The Stewart's daughters shed light on a story of a lifetime of abuse. They told the court their father was often yelling, threatening and hurting Rhonda Stewart.

"When he was good -- he was very good," daughter Mickey Stewart said. "But when he was bad, there could be hell to pay."

"I know that she regrets what she does," daughter Samantha Stewart said. "And I know she regrets putting the lives of other people in danger. I just hope now they have some understanding as to why."

None of the abuse allegations were mentioned during the original trial. The defense, however, described mood swings that kept her feeling trapped. She even wrote a suicide note, according to her attorney.

Expert testimony, which wasn't allowed the first time around, looked at Stewart's mental state.

"I am truly, truly sorry for everyone that was there," Rhonda Stewart said.

The judge sentenced her for a second time. This time, 10 years home confinement with credit for time served. It figures out to just six years since she spent four years in prison.

Stewart wept after her sentence was read, knowing she won't spend another single day behind bars for the crime.

Stewart's daughters say they plan to take care of her. They hope she will be able to rebuild her life.

Prosecutors didn't want to comment on the sentence. The judge says Stewart does not pose a threat to the community.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/19/13 @ 2:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The woman who walked into a Charleston hospital and shot her husband to death, will not go back to jail.

Rhonda Stewart has been sentenced to 10 years home confinement with credit for four years time served.

Back in June 2009, Stewart walked into CAMC Memorial Hospital and shot her husband Sammy while he was lying in a bed in the ICU.

This is the second time Stewart has been sentenced for the crime.

Stewart says her husband abused her for years but that was never talked about during her original trial.

The first conviction was later overturned.

Stewart pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder last month.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/19/13 @ 9 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The woman who walked into a Charleston hospital and shot and killed her husband in his hospital bed will learn her fate Tuesday.

Rhonda Stewart is expected to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. at the Kanawha County Courthouse.

Back in February, Stewart pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of 2nd degree murder with use of a firearm.

She was previously found guilty of 1st degree murder but her lawyers appealed, arguing critical information was not admissible during that trial. Her lawyers stated that jurors should have known Stewart was physically, verbally and emotionally abused for years by her husband.

Her case was heard by the Supreme Court and overturned.

Stewart faces between 10 to 40 years in prison.

Stewart has been on home confinement for about a year since he case was overturned.

WSAZ will have a crew at the sentencing hearing. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE: 2/7/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The highly controversial case of Rhonda Stewart, the wife who walked into a hospital then shot and killed her husband in his hospital bed, is one stop closer to being closed.

Thursday afternoon Stewart pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of 2nd degree murder with use of a firearm.

She was previously found guilty of 1st degree murder but her lawyers appealed, arguing critical information was not admissible during that trial. Her lawyers stated that jurors should know Stewart was physically, verbally and emotionally abused for years by her husband.

Her case was heard by the Supreme Court and overturned.

Prosecutor Mark S. Plants said in light of the newly admissible evidence, Thursday's plea deal was a win.

"It might have happened that this jury let her walk out of here free," Plants said. "I secured a second degree murder conviction with a potential 40-year sentence based on those facts and the defendants age, it was in the best interest of the public."

Thursday's plea deal means Stewart can no longer appeal. She will face between 10 to 40 years punishment for her crime.

She declined to comment after her court appearance.

She has been on home confinement for about a year. She will remain on house arrest until her sentencing March 19th.



UPDATE 2/7/13 @ 2:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An emotional day in court for a woman headed to trial for a second time for killing her husband in a local hospital.

Rhonda Stewart wiped tears from her face before pleading guilty to second-degree murder before her scheduled retrial ever took place.

In December 2009, a jury found Rhonda Stewart guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Sammy.

Stewart shot and killed her husband, Sammy, in June 2009. Police said that she walked into CAMC Memorial Hospital and shot her husband, Sammy, in the head while he was lying in a bed in the ICU.

Stewart said Sammy abused her for years, but that was never talked about during her original trial. Her attorney claimed that could have made a difference in the verdict, so an appeal was filed with the Supreme Court -- and won.

Stewart has been on home confinement ever since the conviction was overturned.

Stewart will remain on home confinement until she's sentenced on March 19. She faces 10 to 40 years in prison.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/5/12 @ 10:45 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The retrial scheduled for this fall for a woman convicted two years ago for shooting and killing her husband at CAMC Memorial was delayed again.

A jury found Rhonda Stewart guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Sammy, back in December 2009.

Stewart said Sammy abused her for years but that was never talked about during her original trial. Her attorney's claimed that could have made a difference, so an appeal was filed with the Supreme Court and won.

A new trial was originally scheduled for October 9, but Wednesday her attorney asked for the trial to be delayed again. Stewart's attorney is waiting to send the alleged gun used in the crime to a forensics lab.

The judge granted the delay and scheduled Stewart to be back in court on September 13 to set the new trial date. We're told it will take place in January 2013.

Stewart remains on home confinement.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/22/12 @ 5:40 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman convicted two years ago for shooting and killing her husband at CAMC Memorial will have to wait for her second trial.

On Tuesday, a judge decided to push back Rhonda Stewart's trial until the fall.

A jury found Stewart guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Sammy. Stewart said Sammy abused her for years but that was never talked about during her original trial. Her attorney's claimed that could have made a difference, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court and won.

Stewart's lawyers also want the second trial moved out of Charleston.

Her trial should get underway Oct. 9.



UPDATE 1/23/12 @ 12:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman who was convicted two years ago for shooting and killing her husband at CAMC Memorial Hospital is out of jail on bond.

According to a spokesperson at the Kanawha County Courthouse, Rhonda Stewart posted her $150,000 personal recognizance bond on Thursday. She is now living at a home in Elkview, according to court records.

Stewart is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation on Monday at the West Virginia School of Medicine in Morgantown, according to court records.

Stewart will remain on home confinement until her next court date. If Stewart fails to appear, the court will be owed $150,000 and a warrant will be issued for her arrest.

A jury found Stewart guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Sammy.

Stewart says her husband, Sammy, had abused her for years, but, that was never talked about during the trial. Her attorneys believe that could have made a difference in the case and filed an appeal. In a three to two ruling -- the court overturned her conviction.

The Supreme Court said the judge in the original trial should have allowed battered women's syndrome as a defense.

The defense asked the circuit judge in her bond hearing if she can undergo a psychiatric exam to use as evidence in a new trial. The judge granted that motion.

The lawyer for Stewart says she had undergone decades of physical, metal and sexual abuse by her husband. The defense plans on using the results of the psychiatric exam as evidence.

Stewart's new trial is set for June 4.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 1/6/12 @ 1:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman who was convicted two years ago for shooting and killing her husband at CAMC Memorial Hospital will soon get out of jail.

Rhonda Stewart was back in court Friday for a bond hearing. During the hearing, the judge granted the motion and set a $150,000 personal recognizance bond.

Stewart will be released on home confinement with the agreement that she will appear at her next court date.

If Stewart fails to appear, the court will be owed $150,000 and a warrant will be issued for her arrest.

Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants was displeased the judge decided to set bond.

"Based on the serious nature of the crime, I think there ought to be a very, very high bond that reflects the serious nature of the crime that's allegedly committed," Prosecutor Mark Plants said. "I don't think this bond reflects that."

Stewart will remain on home confinement until her new trial.

A jury found Stewart guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Sammy.

Stewart says her husband, Sammy, had abused her for years, but, that was never talked about during the trial. Her attorneys believe that could have made a difference in the case and filed an appeal. In a 3-2 ruling, the court overturned her conviction.

The Supreme Court said the judge in the original trial should have allowed battered women's syndrome as a defense.

The defense asked the circuit judge in her bond hearing if she can undergo a psychiatric exam to use as evidence in a new trial. The judge granted that motion.

The lawyer for Stewart says she had undergone decades of physical, metal and sexual abuse by her husband. The defense plans on using the results of the psychiatric exam as evidence.

Stewart will get a new trial which is set for June 4.

She was sentenced in March 2010 to life in prison with mercy. Stewart has been serving her sentence at the Lakin Correctional Center.



UPDATE 11/28/11 @ 10:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The state Supreme Court granted a new trial Monday to Rhonda Stewart, who was convicted two years ago of shooting and killing her husband at CAMC Memorial Hospital.

Ruling 3-2, the court says there were a few problems with the first trial.

Stewart says her husband, Sammy, had abused her for years. But, that was never talked about during the trial.

Her attorneys say that could have made a difference in this case.

Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants argued the history of abuse wasn't relevant because it had happened years before the shooting. In addition, he says this was not a case of self-defense, as Stewart’s husband was drifting in and out of consciousness in a hospital bed.

"The husband and wife were estranged; they didn't live together. That's not a typical case," Plants says.

Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman agreed. So, the issue didn’t come up during her first trial. But, the Supreme Court says it should have.

In the majority opinion, Justice Menis Ketchum writes, “In cases involving Battered Woman’s Syndrome, evidence that a victim has abused the defendant may be considered by the jury when determining the factual existence of one or more of the essential elements of the crime charged, such as premeditation, malice or intent.”

Gregory Ayers, an attorney who worked on Stewart’s appeal, says the time between the alleged abuse and the crime should not be a factor.

"I don't think there was any question they jury would not have found her guilty of first-degree murder if they had heard about all the abuse she had endured," Ayers says.

The justices write Stewart possibly could have been found guilty of a lesser crime.

Dr. David Clayman, a clinical and forensic psychologist who was tapped to testify as an expert, wasn't allowed to talk about Stewart’s symptoms of Battered Woman's Syndrome during her trial.

"All the jury really had at the first trial was that Rhonda walked in and shot her husband in the hospital without really much of an explanation," Ayers says.

Justices Brent Benjamin and Robin Davis disagree with this decision.

In his dissenting opinion, Benjamin cites the testimony of Tara Webb, who was working at the hospital the day of the shooting and witnessed it.

“I saw Rhonda Stewart standing over top of Sammy Stewart with a gun," Webb testified in December 2009.

Plants says he’s prepared to try the case again and says he’s confident he has enough evidence to support a second guilty verdict.

"Could they let her go? Absolutely. I don't know; it's just part of the risk of having a trial,” Plants says.

Stewart remains at the Lakin Correctional Center. She was sentenced in March 2010 to life in prison with mercy.

No hearings have been scheduled yet for this process to start all over again.



UPDATE 3/2/10
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Mother and grandmother Rhonda Stewart could spend the rest of her life behind bars for shooting and killing her husband while he was lying in a hospital bed.

Stewart didn't say a word during Tuesday's hearing, which was very different from Stewart's previous days in court with outbursts and tears.

Stewart didn't even speak before her sentencing.

She claims it was all a big mistake, saying she actually went to CAMC Memorial that day to take her own life so her husband could deal with the burden.

"It was a very tragic case," Attorney John Mitchell said, "obviously a very unique case, but the scenario that led up to the day that Sammy Stewart passed away was very unique."

It was a scenario that Stewart claimed was caused by emotional and sexual abuse.

"From the time this lady was impregnated at 15, married at 16 and from the night of her wedding night for the next 35 years, she was physically, emotionally and sexually abused," Mitchell said.

That abuse was never told to the jury, and a nurse testified she watched Stewart shoot her husband in his hospital bed.

"They heard her testify," Prosecutor Mark Plants said, "They didn't believe her that it was an accident and they found her guilty and imposed a life sentence on her."

Now the defense plans to ask for a new trial since they say some of the evidence was left out.



UPDATE @ 1:30pm
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A judge sentenced Rhonda Stewart on Tuesday to life with mercy.

Charleston Police say Stewart shot and killed her husband, Sammy last June at CAMC Memorial.

During Stewart's trial, her attorney claimed she went to the hospital to take her own life.

However, the jury found her guilty of first degree murder, but jurors recommended mercy.

"For the family, this is a lose-lose situation," Kanawha County Prosecutor Mike Plants said. "They heard her testify. They didn't believe her that it was an accident and they found her guilty and imposed a life sentence on her."

Attorney John Mitchell tells WSAZ.com he plans to ask for a new trial.

"I don't think there's any outcome yet," Stewart said. "This case is far from very over."

"From the time this lady was impregnated at 15, married at 16 and from the night of her wedding night for the next 35 years, she was physically, emotionally and sexually abused," Mitchell said.

Mitchell tells WSAZ.com his client never walked into that hospital with any other intentions other than to take her own life so he would have to take over her burdens.

"In the end, the jury found her guilty and she has to deal with the consequences of her actions," Plants said.

Stewart will be eligible for parole in 15 years.



UPDATE: Tuesday, March 2 @ 10:35
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The woman convicted of killing her husband while he was lying in a hospital bed is expected to learn her fate on Tuesday.

Charleston Police say Rhonda Stewart shot and killed her husband, Sammy last June at CAMC Memorial.

During Stewart's trial, her attorney claimed she went to the hospital to take her own life.

However, the jury found her guilty of first degree murder, but jurors recommended mercy.

Stewart is set for sentencing at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.

We will have a crew in the courtroom. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.



UPDATE @ 4:22pm
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Kanawha County jury has found Rhonda Stewart guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of her husband Sammy.

The jury, however, recommended mercy in her sentencing. Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants says that means Stewart will be sentenced to life in prison, but will be eligible for parole in 15 years, when she's 69-years-old.

After the sentence was handed down, Stewart started crying very loudly. As she was taken out of the courtroom, her and Sammy's children yelled, "I love you, mom!" While crying, Rhonda said she loved them back.

Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants says he is satisfied with the verdict and says, "Justice has been served."

The shooting happened at Charleston Area Medical Center in June. Sammy was in the Intensive Care Unit, but was expected to make a full recovery.

Rhonda Stewart took the stand Thursday and told jurors she was trying to kill herself. She testified that Sammy reached up and bumped her elbow, and she shot him instead. She also testified about their relationship saying he had a girlfriend and that they had been separated for three years.

The prosecution argued that her story about a failed suicide is a story no one had heard until now. They also brought back a nurse to the stand who witnessed the shooting, she said Sammy did not reach up and hit Stewart's elbow.



UPDATE @ 4:10pm
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A bailiff tells WSAZ.com the jury has reached a verdict in the case against Rhonda Stewart.

Stewart is accused of shooting and killing her husband, Sammy, in June while he was lying in the intensive care unit at CAMC Memorial.

We have a crew inside the courtroom. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.



UPDATE: Friday, December 18 @ 11:22am
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The fate of a woman accused of killing her husband at a Charleston hospital is in the hands of a jury.

The jury started deliberating in the Rhonda Stewart murder trial around 11:15 a.m. Friday.

Stewart is accused of shooting and killing her husband, Sammy, in June while he was lying in the intensive care unit at CAMC Memorial.

During closing arguments, Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants told the jurors they were there to hold her responsible for her actions.

"When she (Rhonda) sat down with that expert, he's a hired expert to help her, she didn't tell him it was an accident," Plants said. "She does not tell him 'Sammy reached up and pushed my fingers with my free hands.'"

"She didn't tell him that. Why in the world would you not tell an expert hired to help you in your case? Why would you not tell him what happened that day?," Plants said.

"Let's assume she was planning to commit suicide that day and she drove back to the hospital that day to kill herself and she changed her mind two seconds before she put the gun up to Sammy Stewart's temple," Plants said. "Ladies and Gentlemen that is first degree murder."

Stewart's attorney told the jury there is no evidence to prove anything was premeditated.

"Her whole life was Sammy," John Mitchell said. "She gets back to her dream home and walks in just to realize everything she has lived for turned to that relationship and it could be over."

Mitchell says that's when Stewart sat down and started writing her children a letter.

"The note to the kids was not a 'I'm sorry I killed your dad note,' or 'I hope you understand someday note' - it was a suicide note," Mitchell said.

"Nothing in that note informed that she was going to kill Sammy," Mitchell said. "If it did, don't you think you would see it?"

"She was going to take her life and leave her name on top of him and leave him with the burden of her life," Mitchell said. "He was going to take her burdens."

Closing arguments wrapped up in the case around 11:00 a.m. Friday.

At about 11:15, paramedics were dispatched to the courthouse because Stewart was apparently hyperventilating. We're told they're going to stay in the holding cell in case she has any further issues.

We have a crew in the courtroom. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.



UPDATE: Thursday, December 17 @ 11:00pm
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It was an emotional day in the courtroom Thursday in the trial for a woman accused of killing her husband while he was in the hospital.

Rhonda Stewart was on the stand for more than an hour. She broke down while she told jurors that she was trying to kill herself, but said that her husband, Sammy, hit her elbow and she killed him instead.

She says she took the gun to the hospital because she wanted him to see her commit suicide.

But prosecutors argued that this was the first time anyone had heard this part of the story.

The prosecution brought Tara Webb, a nurse, back to the stand who was within feet of Sammy's bed during the shooting.

"I saw Rhonda Stewart standing over top of Sammy Stewart with the gun," Webb Testified. The prosecutor asked, "If there was any testimony during this trial that he reached up and grabbed the gun, you would disagree with that?" Webb said yes.

A firearms expert testified that it takes about 7.5 pounds of pressure to pull the trigger on the gun that killed Sammy.

Psychologist Dr. David Clayman testified that he believes Rhonda Stewart was suicidal during the shooting. However, he says there are parts of her story that he had never heard.

"The intent that she expressed to me during the interview was that she went with the intent of killing herself and she did not provide me with an explanation of how Mr. Stewart ended up being the decedent," Dr. Clayman said.

Dr. Clayman also testified that during his interview with Stewart she said she was angry about what her estranged husband had said earlier in the day and that she couldn't remember what happened in the hospital room.

Rhonda and Sammy's daughter also took the stand Thursday. She testified that her mom had become more withdrawn and that she wouldn't be surprised if she had tried to kill herself.

Closing arguments will begin Friday morning, then the case will be handed over to the jury.



UPDATE: Thursday, December 17 @ 12:15pm
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The woman accused of walking into the hospital and shooting and killing her husband took the stand in her own defense on Thursday.

Police say Rhonda Stewart shot and killed her husband, Sammy, back in June at CAMC Memorial Hospital.

Stewart's attorney told the jury Thursday there are no magic hats or rainbows in this case. Stewart doesn't deny that she was at the hospital that day with a pistol, but her attorneys say there is much more to the story.

When Stewart took the stand, she was very emotional, but her attorneys say she wanted to tell her side of the story. She says Sammy was 17 years old and she was 14 when they met. Then, they married when she was just 16 years old.

According to Stewart, about six years ago, Sammy took a year off of work to build their dream home. Shortly after the home was built, Stewart says Sammy wasn't happy.

Stewart says Sammy told her he wanted to move back to the trailer where they used to live in Shrewsbury -- and he finally did. She told the jurors she knew that her husband had girlfriends. He told her he would end the relationships, but never did, according to Stewart.

Stewart also claims she would cook meals for Sammy, but if he didn't come over to the new house she would take it to him at the trailer.

She told the jury in the last five years, there were periods when she wouldn't leave the house for a month or two at a time. Stewart says even though they were apart, she still felt they were married.

She also claims Sammy always told her that their relationship wouldn't be over until he said it was over.

Stewart says that's why she was so devastated when her husband called her by her maiden name from his hospital bed. She says when Sammy said that, she knew it was finally over.

"I was very hurt," Stewart said. "I was going to take my own life."

Stewart says she had a gun in her kitchen, but decided not to kill herself at home.

"I wanted Sammy to know," Stewart said. "I wanted him to know I wasn't going to bother him anymore."

Stewart says that's when she went to the hospital to take her own life, so he would know she did it.

Stewart says when she went into Sammy's room, she nudged him to wake him up. When he opened his eyes and saw what she was doing, she says he pulled her elbow down and the gun went off.

"It was so fast, it was so fast," Stewart said.

Stewart says she never had an intention of killing him. She just wanted to kill herself there so Sammy would see it and know she would no longer be a bother to him.

Stewart said she wanted to "end the pain."

Detective Brian Jones testified Thursday for the defense and told the jurors there was no blood found on Stewart's clothes.

We have a crew in the courtroom. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.



UPDATE: Wednesday, December 16 @ 6:30pm
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Rhonda Stewart had come to see her estranged husband Sammy while he was sedated and on life support, and a nurse says she seemed concerned -- describing the visits as pleasant.

But on Saturday, June 13, Rhonda and her daughter came to CAMC Memorial to visit Sammy who was finally breathing on his own. He asked the pair to leave. His daughter did. Rhonda stayed.

Nurse Christine Kinder says the daughter came back in the room and got her mother.She left, but returned a minute or two later.

Kinder asked Sammy who his visitor was.

"He mumbled something, I didn't understand," she said. "So I asked her, I said, 'Can you tell me what, what is he saying?' " Kinder says that Rhonda responded, "That's my maiden name he wanted me to take back when we separated."

Rhonda left, and Sammy apologized to the nurse for having to witness the exchange.

Prosecutors say the couple had been estranged for three years when Rhonda shot him in the head, while he lay in a hospital bed recovering from pancreatitis.

Rhonda left the hospital, only to return a short time later. Prosecutor Mark Plants described what happened as Rhonda walked back into the hospital armed with a gun.

Plants says, "As he (the doctor) was leaving the room, he saw Rhonda Stewart she smiled at him, nodded and moments later, he heard a gunshot."

Kinder said brain matter and blood was all over the room. Prosecutor Plants says the nurses held their ungloved fingers in Sammy's head wound to help keep him alive.

Plants said in his opening statement, "He was a living breathing person. Not only did she take that life -- she affected the life of every nurse or doctor that was there that day, all the family members that were next door."

Several other nurses and a doctor took the stand Wednesday. They gave several accounts of seeing Rhonda with the gun, hearing the incident or seeing blood splattered throughout the hospital.

Kinder said she remembers seeing Rhonda sitting on the floor of the hospital hallway saying "I'm so sorry over, and over again."

The defense is expected to give its opening statement Thursday. Attorney John Mitchell asked to wait until the prosecution had rested its case.



UPDATE from Tuesday 12/15
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Opening statements are underway in a Charleston murder trial.

Rhonda Stewart is accused of walking into a Charleston hospital and shooting her husband, Sammy in the ICU. The alleged crime happened back in June.

During opening statements, Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants told the jury Sammy Stewart had Pancreatitis and was going to live despite the fact he was on life support. He was actually taken off life support the morning he died.

Plants says Rhonda and Sammy had been estranged for three years.

Rhonda and her daughter went to the hospital early that day to see Sammy, but he asked them to leave. That's when Plants says Rhonda returned with a gun.

Plants says Sammy was shot in the head and the nurses tried desperately to save him.

The defense won't do their openings until the state finishes calling its witnesses to the stand.

We have a crew inside the courtroom. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.



UPDATE: Wednesday, December 16 @ 9:15am
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Opening statements are expected to get underway Wednesday afternoon in a Charleston murder trial.

Rhonda Stewart is accused of walking into a Charleston hospital and shooting her husband in the ICU. The alleged crime happened back in June.

Jury selection got underway Tuesday afternoon.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.



UPDATE @ Noon
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Jury selection is underway in the trial of a woman accused of walking into a Charleston hospital and shooting her husband in the ICU.

When Rhonda Stewart entered the Kanawha County courtroom Tuesday, she waved to family members sitting in the courtroom.

Police say Stewart walked into CAMC Memorial Hospital and shot her husband, Sammy, in the head while he was lying in a bed in the ICU.

Investigators say she then left the room and handed her gun over to a doctor.

The alleged crime happened back in June.

Before jury selection got underway, the defense filed a motion to keep the prosecution from using video of Stewart confessing to the crime as evidence. The defense claimed that Stewart was under distress when she was being interviewed by police and she didn't know what she was saying at the time.

About three minutes of the hour long tape was played in the courtroom Tuesday before the judge ruled in favor of the prosecutor to use the video as evidence.

Stewart got emotional when she heard herself confess to the murder.

Opening arguments are expected to begin sometime Tuesday afternoon.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman accused of walking into a Charleston hospital and shooting her husband in the ICU is expected to go on trial Tuesday.

According to court documents, Rhonda Stewart's trial is set for 9 a.m. in a Kanawha County courtroom.

Police say Stewart walked into CAMC Memorial Hospital and shot her husband, Sammy, in the head while he was lying in a bed in the ICU.

Investigators say she then left the room and handed her gun over to a doctor.

The alleged crime happened back in June.

We have a crew in the courtroom. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.


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