Charbonneau Pleads Guilty at Murder Retrial - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Charbonneau Pleads Guilty at Murder Retrial

Linda Lou Charbonneau Linda Lou Charbonneau

03/06/2007

DOVER (AP)- Linda Lou Charbonneau, who was sentenced to death for arranging the killings of her husband and ex-husband but whose conviction was overturned, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the death of her ex-husband John Charbonneau.

She could receive up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is set for May 25.

Charbonneau's plea came during her retrial in Sussex County Superior Court after one of the state's witnesses refused to testify. A plea offer was then made, according to Thomas Pederson, her attorney.

"We felt like we had a fighting chance for an acquittal," Pederson said. "But we didn't feel like we could take that chance. ... Those are big dice to roll." Pederson said Charbonneau was relieved after she accepted the offer.

Charbonneau, 59, was convicted of arranging the killings of her husband, William Sproates III, 45, and John Charbonneau, 62, in 2001. Superior Court Judge Richard Stokes ordered her to die by lethal injection in June 2004.

Willie Brown, who carried out the murders, was been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders. His wife, Mellisa Rucinski- Linda Charbonneau's daughter- was been sentenced to 25 years for her role in the killings.

Rucinski's lawyer, John Sandy, said Rucinski told the court she did not want to be involved in the case anymore and did not want to testify against her mother.

"Mellisa was tired of it," he said.

She was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to an additional five months in prison, Sandy said.

David Sproates, brother of William Sproates and John Charbonneau's nephew, was upset with the plea bargain. "My brother died for nothing," he said. "We feel it wasn't fair to the victims. ... I just feel there was no justice whatsoever."

At the first trial, prosecutors had said Linda Charbonneau orchestrated the killing of John Charbonneau, with whom she was living despite being married to William Sproates, after a stormy relationship that included frequent fights over possessions. Charbonneau then had Sproates killed to cover up the murder of her ex-husband, prosecutors said.

 

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Cape Henlopen Board Votes to Remove Entire Summer Reading List

    Cape Henlopen Board Votes to Remove Entire Summer Reading List

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:33:15 GMT
    The Cape Henlopen School District Board on Thursday evening voted 6-1 to put a controversial novel back on a suggested summer reading list and then to eliminate the entire list itself.More
    The Cape Henlopen School District Board on Thursday evening voted 6-1 to put a controversial novel back on a suggested summer reading list and then to eliminate the entire list itself.More
  • Missing Jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay

    Missing Jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:12 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:12:56 GMT
    Susan Meredith said if there is one thing she normally does for all the customers renting her boats at Blackwater Paddle and Pedal along the Choptank River in Cambridge, "We send them right up river.  They don't want to see any sea nettles, they are scared to death of them."More
    Susan Meredith said if there is one thing she normally does for all the customers renting her boats at Blackwater Paddle and Pedal along the Choptank River in Cambridge, "We send them right up river.  They don't want to see any sea nettles, they are scared to death of them."More
  • Feds Send 117 Immigrant Children to Del.

    Feds Send 117 Immigrant Children to Del.

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:19 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:19:28 GMT
    Gov. Jack Markell says 117 children who immigrated alone to the United States have been placed with families in Delaware.More
    Gov. Jack Markell says 117 children who immigrated alone to the United States have been placed with families in Delaware.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Updated: Va. Gov. McAuliffe to Tour Tornado Damage

    Updated: Va. Gov. McAuliffe to Tour Tornado Damage

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:04 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:04:23 GMT
    Flattened trees, flipped-over RVs, scattered tents, and awnings ripped from trailers - a scene of devastation awaited the visit of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe the day after a tornado ripped through a campground on the Chesapeake Bay.More
    Flattened trees, flipped-over RVs, scattered tents, and awnings ripped from trailers - a scene of devastation awaited the visit of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe the day after a deadly tornado ripped through a campground on the Chesapeake Bay.More
  • Del. Court Upholds Death Sentence in Rape-Murder

    Del. Court Upholds Death Sentence in Rape-Murder

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:12 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:12:22 GMT
    Delaware's highest court has upheld the conviction and death sentence for a man found guilty of raping and killing a University of Delaware student.More
    Delaware's highest court has upheld the conviction and death sentence for a man found guilty of raping and killing a University of Delaware student.More
  • Appointed Delaware Tech President Rejects Offer

    Appointed Delaware Tech President Rejects Offer

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:34 AM EDT2014-07-25 11:34:30 GMT
    Wor-Wic Community College President Dr. Ray Hoy announced Thursday he will not become the fifth president of Delaware Technical Community College.More
    Wor-Wic Community College President Dr. Ray Hoy announced Thursday he will not become the fifth president of Delaware Technical Community College.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service