A Central City woman charged with stabbing her husband to death has been sentenced to 36 months of probation.
Angela M. Waddell, 22, was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in connection with the July 14, 1993, death of 23-year-old Norman Hines. But Waddell was allowed to plead no contest to a greatly reduced charge of negligent homicide, a Class A misdemeanor, as part of a plea bargain.3rd Circuit Judge Philip Palmer ordered her to serve a year in jail, but then suspended the jail time and ordered her to serve only 36 months of probation.
Assistant Salt Lake County Attorney Greg Skordas said that after charging Waddell with murder, investigators later learned she had been physically abused by her husband. Officers had responded to their home several times on reports of spouse abuse.
"We didn't know the extent of the prior conduct between the two," Skordas said.
"Utah now recognizes as a defense this Battered Spouse Syndrome," he said, "We felt there was a real likelihood a jury could come back and say not guilty."
Hines died of a single stab wound to the chest at LDS Hospital after police found him bleeding and unconscious when they responded to a report of a fight at 649 E. 100 South. A number of other people, including five young children, were in the apartment during the fight but told police they were in other rooms and did not see what happened.
The couple had been quarreling for about a week. She had apparently been accusing him of having an affair. Waddell was not hurt in the fight that preceded the stabbing.
Waddell's 6-month-old daughter, who was placed in foster care after Hines' death, died in December when a 4-year-old girl tried to pick up the child out of a crib, dropped the baby and fell on top of her.
Foster parent Thomas Henry has been charged with child abuse and child neglect for allegedly leaving the children alone.
Skordas said the death played a minor factor in the plea bargain. "It's a factor in what's fair to this woman," he said.
Waddell was given credit for the 32 days she served in jail. She was also ordered to obtain counseling, attend Alcoholics Anonymous and remain drug and alcohol free.