LARGO — The prosecution says Linda T. Weeks flew into a fit of rage and stabbed her husband to death after learning of his affair with a younger woman.
The defense says there is evidence that the victim, Martin Weeks, may have been killed by a man who has yet to be brought to justice.
Both sides laid out the basics of their cases Wednesday during opening statements of the second-degree murder trial of Linda Weeks, 62.
Martin Weeks was 61 years old when he died in 2007 outside his home in the Silk Oak Mobile Home Park, 28488 U.S. 19 in unincorporated Clearwater.
His body was discovered in his driveway by his boss on June 13, 2007, after he failed to show up for his job as a truck driver for a Palm Harbor food pantry. He had been stabbed 28 times, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Linda Weeks made inconsistent statements to investigators and had previously threatened her husband, prosecutor Kendall Davidson said.
In addition, tests revealed Linda Weeks' DNA under her husband's fingernails, Davidson said.
But Linda Weeks' attorney, Charles Lykes, questioned why investigators did not find any blood stains in her truck, considering the brutality of the crime.
And Lykes said he would introduce testimony from a neighbor who told detectives that he heard Martin Weeks arguing with a man sometime around the time he was killed.
The couple's relationship was unraveling in the weeks before Martin Weeks' death, Davidson said.
Linda Weeks had learned of her husband's infidelity and on May 19, 2007, she was arrested on charges of domestic battery and aggravated assault.
She punched her husband in the face, according to an arrest affidavit, and leveled a shotgun at his chest, saying: "If this thing was loaded, I'd blow your f------ head off."
The charges were later dropped.
After the incident, Linda Weeks took out a restraining order against her husband, alleging in court documents that he was verbally and physically abusive.
But the two were communicating again when Martin Weeks was last seen alive on June 12, 2007. That evening, Davidson said, Linda Weeks brought wine, cheese and oysters to Martin's home for dinner.
Though she later told detectives that she left around 5:30 or 6 p.m., surveillance video from a nearby convenience store put her in the area at 10 p.m., Davidson said.
Davidson characterized Weeks as a "woman scorned" who killed her husband in a jealous rage.
But Lykes said his client was reconciling with her husband when he was killed.
"I ask you to begin by considering if someone coming over with wine, cheese and oysters sounds like a woman scorned," he said.
Weeks has been in jail since she was arrested in May 2008. Her trial was originally scheduled to start in June, but was postponed when prosecutors realized one of their witnesses, a jailhouse informant, was out of the county testifying in another trial.
Davidson didn't explain why it took detectives nearly a year to charge Weeks.
But he mentioned investigators found faint bloodstains in Martin Weeks' bathtub that did not match Linda Weeks.
Ultimately, they were found to belong to a handyman who had done some work in the home before Martin Weeks moved in. The man said he must have cut himself unknowingly, Davidson said.
Weeks' trial is scheduled to resume today.
Rita Farlow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4157.