Hero Now on Trial for Murder

This is a discussion on Hero Now on Trial for Murder within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Iowa Woman Once Hailed a Hero Now on Trial for Murder Ten years ago, when Tracey Richter shot Dustin Wehde dead, the Iowa mom was ...

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Thread: Hero Now on Trial for Murder

  1. #1
    Member Array jdf3834's Avatar
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    Hero Now on Trial for Murder

    Iowa Woman Once Hailed a Hero Now on Trial for Murder

    Ten years ago, when Tracey Richter shot Dustin Wehde dead, the Iowa mom was hailed as a hero for protecting her home and family from intruders.

    But that was 10 years ago. Fast-forward a decade, and prosecutors in Sac County say the Iowa mom murdered Wehde not to protect her three young children, but as part of an attempt to frame her first husband. Now Richter is standing trial for killing Wehde, her 20-year-old neighbor, in cold blood.

    Richter, 45, was arrested in July in Omaha, Neb., where she currently lives, after a re-investigation of Wehde’s shooting in December 2001 at her home in Early, Iowa.

    Sac County prosecutor Ben Smith stands for a photo at his home in Lake View, Iowa, where he has spent hundreds of hours reviewing the Tracey Roberts case.

    Soon after the shooting, it was determined that Wehde broke into Richter’s home with an accomplice and attacked her before she broke free, made it to a gun safe in her bedroom and fired two pistols to fend them off.

    But now prosecutors say Richter shot Wehde nine times with two guns and then planted a notebook in his car that implied that her first husband, John Pitman, had hired the young man to kill Richter over a child-custody dispute. Prosecutors also say Richter made up her report of the second intruder.

    But family members say the claims against Richter are flimsy at best. "Everything in their charges is theory, but a theory isn't based on fact," said Tracey's brother, John Richter, a detective for the police department in her native Chicago.

    "They could never find the second suspect so they assumed that her testimony was false," Richter said. "I should use that at work the next time I can't find a suspect in a homicide."

    Richter’s attorney, Scott Bandstra, says the prosecution never followed up on leads to find the second man and that a forensic reenactment done in 2010 by county investigators is consistent with Richter's original statement.

    "It's a travesty,” the lawyer says. “She should be given a medal, not charges."

    But investigators say a forensics expert concluded that Richter fired the last three shots as Wehde lay face down on the ground.

    Richter moved to Early in the late 1990s with her second husband, Michael Roberts, whom she has since divorced and with whom she has feuded over child support and custody issues. Roberts did not respond to requests for comment.

    A motion filed by Bandstra last month to have the case dismissed recounts what happened that evening.

    It was around 4 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2001, when Wehde, whom Roberts had employed in the past, stopped by their home looking for some work. He left when a friend of Richter's showed up. Tracey was relieved, according to the documents, because she had felt uncomfortable by Wehde being there.

    Richter's friend left at 5:15 p.m, her sons Bert,11 and Noah,3 were watching a movie and she was giving her one-year-old son Mason, a bath upstairs when she heard people downstairs. She thought it was her husband returning from his trip, so she went to greet him. When she reached the top of the stairs, according to the documents, Richter saw an unknown man coming toward her. With Mason in her arms, she ran for Bert's room but didn't make it. She was grabbed from behind by the man, according to the motion.

    At that point, the motion continues, she was assaulted and choked with a pair of her pantyhose. She remembers lying on the floor and then breaking free from her attacker and running toward the master bedroom. A struggle ensued with her attacker, and Tracey pushed against him hard and he hit the wall, giving her time to pull away and get into the bedroom.

    Wehde was with the second intruder, according to the documents, and he went after Tracey, who reached for a gun safe between the bed and dresser.

    She pulled a pistol out of the safe and reached over her shoulder and tried to fire off a shot, but the gun jammed. She fumbled with the weapon then fired a second time when the first shot went off. She then turned around on her knees. Wehde kept charging toward her, so she fired the gun several more times, according to the documents.

    Richter's glasses were knocked off during the assault, so her vision was hindered, and after shooting the gun she saw a shadow run past the door and another shadowy figure, Wehde, lying on the floor, rocking back and forth in an effort to get up.

    The second intruder fled from the house and was never found, according to Richter and mentioned in her attorney’s motion.

    When police officers arrived, a lieutenant discovered a pair of pantyhose, a semi-automatic pistol on one table and a revolver on the kitchen counter. He then observed Wehde's lifeless body on the floor of the master bedroom, according to the filings.

    Soon after, Tracey had difficulty breathing. She and her children were taken to Loring Hospital in nearby Sac City, and marks were found on Tracey's neck and hand that were consistent with someone trying to strangle her. There were wounds on her hands that indicated she struggled in self-defense.

    The Sac County Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
    Richter’s trial, which began on Wednesday, is expected to last more than a week.

    If convicted of first-degree murder, she could face life in prison.

    Read more: Iowa Woman Once Hailed A Hero Now On Trial For Murder | Fox News

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    Member Array jdf3834's Avatar
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    She was able elude two attackers who had their hands on her neck and arms, run and get a gun out of a safe in her bedroom, clear the jammed semi-automatic, and cap the bad guy who was behind her. Sounds fishy to me.
    oneshot likes this.

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    Senior Member Array Dadsnugun's Avatar
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    Wow...hard to know what to think about this....there's obviously a lot we're not being told for the prosecutors to keep after what seems like an open and shut case for 10 years...
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    Senior Member Array Dadsnugun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdf3834 View Post
    She was able elude two attackers who had their hands on her neck and arms, run and get a gun out of a safe in her bedroom, clear the jammed semi-automatic, and cap the bad guy who was behind her. Sounds fishy to me.
    I don't disagree, but the defensive/strangulation wounds make me wonder, particularly the wounds on her hands...in my mind I can see the strangulation wounds being faked fairly easily than the defensive wounds on her hands...I could easily be wrong, though...

    ...the fact that she was able to clear a jam under duress does sound fishy to me too...but maybe she's a practiced shooter?
    Never pick a fight with an old man...If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you - John Steinbeck
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdf3834 View Post
    She was able elude two attackers who had their hands on her neck and arms, run and get a gun out of a safe in her bedroom, clear the jammed semi-automatic, and cap the bad guy who was behind her. Sounds fishy to me.
    What happened to the 1 year old in her arms,if she was grabbed like she says,then the baby should have had some type of bruising etc from being dropped,also the 11 year old should be able to corroborate or refute her story,there is no way he would be able to stick to a story after being questioned by investigators
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Its not April fools day, is it?
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    Well, I can say this much, if this is true, she sure as H.E. Double Hockey Sticks put a lot of thought into it.
    I have heard of horror stories of women drumming up Bull-Capitol S with a hit stories just to get sole custody of the children, but this takes the cake if true.
    Sounds a bit out there. I mean if the husband was gonna hire someone to whack his wife why the heck would he hire a young and dumb 20yr old neighbor kid to do it.And why would young and dumb just so happen to leave a note, describing the whole arrangement?

    Who's to say she didn't have a thing going on secretly with the kid,[set up intentionally by her] has him come over, they play wrestle around, {choking, scratching ETC...} and then surprise, hauls off and pops him???

    Gonna be an interesting course of events to watch unfold.
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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Sounds like the DA is looking to get elected to public office.
    JDE101 likes this.

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    This is the kind of case which is going to hinge on solid investigation and information we are flat out not going to have available to us from the media reports. There's just too much to even speculate on in an internet forum.

    It would however, be a very interesting case to be sitting on the jury. I would love to see it all play out in court.
    JDE101 and oneshot like this.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    I wonder what evidence suddenly came to light that convinced the D.A. to reopen the case.

    Michael

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    Senior Member Array xsigma40cal's Avatar
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    From a neighbor breaking in, attacking her and getting his just deserts, to botched contract killing? That's a pretty big leap. Even if it was true, all this about her first husband is irrelevant as its very clear that her neighbor clearly broke in to her house with the intention of harming her. That alone would be cause for justifiable homocide. The guilty act of the assailant outweighs the motive.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsigma40cal View Post
    From a neighbor breaking in, attacking her and getting his just deserts, to botched contract killing? That's a pretty big leap. Even if it was true, all this about her first husband is irrelevant as its very clear that her neighbor clearly broke in to her house with the intention of harming her. That alone would be cause for justifiable homocide. The guilty act of the assailant outweighs the motive.
    One would think that on the surface... But obviously something has come to light which has caused the prosecutor a lot of sleepless nights and prompted him to go ahead and move on the murder charge.

    Again, we'll never have all the details to really speculate on what happened with any kind of intelligence, and I'm not even going to try.
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