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>>

  • Dover Business Owners Sound Off During Downtown Tour

    Dover Business Owners Sound Off During Downtown Tour

    09/25/2017 19:37:00 -04:002017-09-25 23:37:00 GMT
    Tuesday, September 26 2017 12:59 AM EDT2017-09-26 04:59:55 GMT
    Erin Thwaite, owner of Bel's Boutique in Downtown Dover, talks with City Councilman David Anderson about running a store in Downtown Dover.Erin Thwaite, owner of Bel's Boutique in Downtown Dover, talks with City Councilman David Anderson about running a store in Downtown Dover.
    DOVER, Del. --- Dover business owners on Monday gave their thoughts on conditions in the downtown area during a tour by city officials and members of the Downtown Dover Partnership.The Monday morning tour was aimed at getting feedback from local businessMore
    DOVER, Del. --- Dover business owners on Monday gave their thoughts on conditions in the downtown area during a tour by city officials and members of the Downtown Dover Partnership.The Monday morning tour was aimed at getting feedback from local businessMore
  • Dover Man Arrested for Drug Charges After Traffic Stop

    Dover Man Arrested for Drug Charges After Traffic Stop

    09/25/2017 18:48:00 -04:002017-09-25 22:48:00 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 7:01 PM EDT2017-09-25 23:01:30 GMT
    Courtesy of the Milford Police Department Courtesy of the Milford Police Department
    Milford Police arrested a Dover man after finding drugs in his car during a traffic stop.More
    Milford Police arrested a Dover man after finding drugs in his car during a traffic stop.More
  • Local Sports Fans React to NFL Protests

    Local Sports Fans React to NFL Protests

    09/25/2017 18:40:00 -04:002017-09-25 22:40:00 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 6:41 PM EDT2017-09-25 22:41:57 GMT
    NFL players across the country linked arms and kneeled down on one knee - all to take a stand against President Donald Trump and a statement he made last Friday.More
    NFL players across the country linked arms and kneeled down on one knee - all to take a stand against President Donald Trump and a statement he made last Friday.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices