Surgeon to testify at ex-wife's Iowa murder trial

October 28, 2011 - 3:00 AM
Hero Mom or Killer

Tracey Richter, left, listens to testimony Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, during her first-degree murder trial in Webster County District Court in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Richter is on trial for the shooting death of Dustin Wehde at her Early, Iowa home on Dec. 13, 2001. Defense attorney Robert Powers is at right. (AP Photo/Hans Madsen, Pool)

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — The ex-husband of a woman accused of murdering her Iowa neighbor is expected to tell jurors he had nothing to do with the killing or a notebook found in the victim's car that claimed he was involved.

Virginia plastic surgeon John Pitman will testify Friday during the trial of Tracey Richter.

Richter says she fatally shot 20-year-old Dustin Wehde in self-defense in 2001, after he and another man broke into her home. Investigators later found a notebook in Wehde's car that implicated Pitman in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Prosecutors say Richter forced Wehde to write that he'd been hired as a hit man, then killed him out of fear he wouldn't keep quiet.

At the time, Richter and Pitman were fighting over custody of their son. They'd divorced in 1996.