Woman convicted of murder wants new trial

Published 12:36 am Sunday, October 18, 2009

A former Diamondhead resident sentenced to life in prison for killing her husband by dousing him with hot cooking oil has filed a motion for a new trial.

Edna Mae Sanders, 48, was convicted of murder in April 2008. Her 53-year-old husband, Sherman Sanders, died a week after his was burned on July 28, 2006.

A ruling on the new trial is pending before Circuit Court Judge Larry Bourgeois.

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Sanders, who turned down an offer to plead guilty to manslaughter before her trial, claims the jury was not allowed to hear that her husband had a history of violence and had sexually assaulted his stepdaughter a night earlier.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Fisher said there are no records of Edna Sanders reporting prior allegations of abuse.

“We believe she received a fair trial,” Fisher told The Sun Herald.

Police said Sanders heated about two quarts of household cooking oil on the stove and allowed the grease to reach a simmer while her husband slipped into a sound sleep. Then, she poured the smoldering grease over her husband’s head, face, chest and arms while he slept.