Woman abused by husband acquitted in his fatal stabbing

Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 10:00 PM HST
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HOUSTON (KTRK) - A 72-year-old woman who claimed she killed her husband in self-defense after decades of abuse was acquitted of his murder.

The six-day trial for 72-year-old Janet Alexander in the 2018 murder of her husband, Lionel Alexander, ended Tuesday with a not guilty verdict. She has always said she killed her husband in self-defense after decades of abuse, and the jury agreed.

“She suffered so much abuse from him, both physical and emotional. It was quite shocking how much abuse… She said she finally just snapped. She couldn’t take it anymore, and when he threatened her, she decided it was time to finally fight back,” said Alexander’s defense attorney, Joe Wells.

Janet Alexander, 72, was found not guilty in the 2018 murder of her husband, 64-year-old Lionel...
Janet Alexander, 72, was found not guilty in the 2018 murder of her husband, 64-year-old Lionel Alexander. She has always said she killed him in self-defense after decades of abuse, and the jury agreed.(Source: KTRK via CNN)

It was April 2018 when Alexander told police she took a knife away from her 64-year-old husband and stabbed him in self-defense. An autopsy revealed he had been stabbed 89 times.

Police confirmed there was a history of domestic violence calls at the home.

A year later, a grand jury indicted Alexander, and when police went to arrest her, she set a fire that burned her house down and injured her. Her attorney said it was a suicide attempt from years of suffering.

Wells said the jury reached the correct verdict. He said Alexander’s children supported her following their father’s death and during the trial, and afterward, members of the jury said they were surprised she had not fought back sooner.

The Alexanders were married for more than 40 years.