MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Jurors seated in Berkeley County Circuit Court since last week for the trial of a woman accused of shooting her ex-husband in October 2009 failed to reach a verdict after having about two hours to deliberate Tuesday.
The panel of eight men and four women who were chosen last Tuesday to hear evidence in the state's case against Flor Demaria Slone, is expected to resume their deliberations at 9 a.m. this morning.
Slone, 42, is accused of shooting her then estranged husband, Stephen Slone, after learning he had removed her from his health insurance policy.
She was indicted in May 2010 on felony counts of kidnapping, attempted first-degree murder, attempted malicious assault and malicious assault in connection with the incident.
Slone, who testified in her own defense on Tuesday morning, said she took a gun to her ex-husband's home at 5409 Winchester Ave. on Oct. 21, the day of the shooting, but denied pulling the trigger.
Before leaving the home south of Martinsburg to return to her residence in Jefferson County, Slone said she gave her husband a kiss and added that she told him she loved him and that he told her the same.
Stephen Slone testified last week that the defendant's parting words were "die you bastard, die," after shooting at him twice, but Flor Slone testified Tuesday that she didn't say that because she doesn't swear.
Flor Slone also denied washing her hands after returning home from Stephen Slone's home. That testimony countered testimony last week by a now former West Virginia State Police trooper, who took a statement from the defendant.
In closing arguments, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely dismissed Flor Slone's account of kissing the victim good-bye about 8 p.m. on Oct. 21, saying the defendant "kissed him with the end of a gun, is what she did."
Slone has testified that he was seated in a light brown recliner in the corner of the living room when Flor approached, fired a .22 caliber pistol into a square pillow that she held up near him and then fired the gun a second time after the first shot did not go through the cushion.
The victim has testified that the second shot went through his right shoulder and exited his back and Games-Neely said the evidence presented in case does not point to any other possible shooter other than Flor Slone.
Defense attorney Thomas L. Stanley argued that evidence presented in the trial didn't support the victim's account, adding that the shooting amounted to a "staged" crime that Stephen Slone orchestrated to avoid paying alimony and also noted the evidence didn't support the victim's statements about how he was shot.
After he was shot, Stephen Slone admitted on the witness stand to attempting suicide after robbing a bank in Inwood, W.Va., but Games-Neely said the victim had no motive to shoot himself the day of the incident or motivation to frame his ex-wife.
Games-Neely said Flor Slone had motive to shoot her ex-husband, referring to testimony that appeared to indicate that the defendant was abruptly removed from Stephen Slone's insurance policy on Oct. 9 without any advance notice from Stephen Slone.
Stephen Slone testified that he talked with Flor Slone about the insurance policy changes before her termination letter arrived in the mail. A former human resources director at Stephen Slone's now former employer, however, testified last week that Flor Slone indicated she did not know beforehand.
Games-Neely said Flor Slone was "a woman scorned," that she was upset by the termination letter and also upset that her husband had begun dating another woman after about 16 years of marriage,
And after failing to convince Stephen Slone to restore her health coverage and return to the home they once shared in Jefferson County, Games-Neely said the defendant shot him.
"For that one brief moment in time," Games-Neely told the jury. "She snapped."