Trial begins for woman accused of murdering husband

Sandra Plunkett is accused of murdering her husband on January 1, 2011.

The trial began Tuesday for a Holts Summit woman accused of murdering her husband on New Year's Day 2011.

A jury of 7 women and 6 men was selected out of Buchanan County and the trial is being conducted in Callaway County.

The state claims Sandra Plunkett killed her husband with a .22 caliber rifle while he was laying in a hospital bed in the couple's living room.

In their opening remarks, the prosecution claimed Paul Plunkett, a retired Jefferson City police officer, was an honorable man who lay bleeding before Sandra called 911.

Plunkett reported to authorities she saw a gunman in camoflauged clothing walking around the neighborhood.

The prosecution stated Sandra Plunkett had a heroin addiction that ate up all of the couple's funds by 2010, and her husband had a $100,000 life insurance policy that could have been a possible motive for the murder.

19 days before the murder, the couple filed a medical malpractice claim for a botched surgery that kept Paul Plunkett bedridden.

That claim was estimated to be worth $3 million.

The state called 2 witnesses, the 911 joint dispatcher, and the Holts Summit police officer who was the first responder to the scene of the murder, who stated Sandra Plunkett was fidgety and washed her hands while in his presence.

The defense's opening remarks stated that Paul Plunkett was abusive and always carried a gun.

The defense claimed Paul was jealous and Sandra was scared to leave him.

The defense claims Plunkett shot her husband during an argument because he rolled to grab a gun, and she got to one before he could shoot her.

The defense admitted Sandra lied to authorities because Paul was friends with them.

The jury started listening to 3 separate interviews from Plunkett on the day of the murder and the days following.

During the first interview, Plunkett descibed her marriage as pretty normal and that she and her husband were "best buddies," who were going to quit smoking together.

She told police she decided she couldn't quit and went to buy cigarettes on New Year's Day 2011. When she came back, she said she found her husband had been killed. She also told police she saw a man dressed in camouflage holding a gun outside, but the man got away.