Convicted Killer Donald Southworth To Get A New Trial

Mar 20, 2014

The Kentucky Supreme Court has overturned the murder conviction of Donald Southworth.

Donald Southworth will be receiving a new trial for the beating death of his wife, Umi Southworth
Donald Southworth will be receiving a new trial for the beating death of his wife, Umi Southworth
Credit WLEX TV

The high court determined that prosecutors used circumstantial evidence to help convict theĀ  Lexington man in the slaying of his estranged wife.

Justice Mary Noble wrote for the court that 52-year-old Donald Southworth should get a new trial in the 2010 death of Umi Southworth. Noble's decision centers on the admission of evidence that Southworth took a used condom and later used it to plant semen on his wife's body to stage a sexual assault.

Justices Will T. Scott and Bill Cunningham would have upheld the conviction, calling the evidence a unique "signature" of the crime that could be traced to Donald Southworth.

Umi Southworth was found hidden behind the couple's home, beaten with a belt wrapped around her neck.