Mistrial declared in Stark murder case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mistrial declared in Stark murder case

SPOKANE, Wash. - A mistrial has been declared in the murder trial against a Spokane woman accused of killing her husband. Opening statements had been scheduled to begin Monday at 1:30 p.m. in the trial of Shellye Stark. Stark is accused of killing her estranged husband Dale Stark. Stark admits to shooting him, but says she was abused for years before the shooting.

The mistrial was declared due to the defense attorney making a statement about the death penalty to potential jurors. When the judge heard these comments, he dismissed the panel of jurors and declared a mistrial. A new trial date has been set for March 2.

Previous Coverage

Police shooting investigation documents
Statement from Shellye Stark's arresting officer
Shellye Stark's petition for order for protection
Witness support of request for restraining order
Dale was shot in December 2007. Police responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call from a woman claiming to have just shot her husband.

Authorities recovered a handgun at the scene and transported Dale Stark to Deaconess Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Major Crimes Detectives detained Shellye Stark and family members for questioning. 

According to a police spokesperson, Stark and her husband had been separated and were living in different parts of the country while maintaining a house here in Spokane. Both husband and wife met at the house on South Maple where a family member served Dale with a temporary restraining order.

Shellye told police Dale refused to leave the premises and begin looking for a knife when she shot him 5 times, 3 of which were in the back.

Prosecutors in the case claim Stark killed her husband in order to obtain money from his estate.

The entire trial is expected to last two weeks.

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