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Jury indicts wife in murder

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Prosecutors are pressing forward with murder charges against a Lawrenceville woman despite opposition from her supporters who say she was a victim of ongoing domestic abuse.

A Gwinnett grand jury this week found evidence to indict Ashley Schutt, 27, in the July 25 killing of her husband, Greg, 30.

Investigators found Greg Schutt's body in the bedroom of the Thomas Palmer Court home the couple shared. He was stabbed more than 30 times, his throat and wrists slit, and bludgeoned with a hammer, police have said.

The indictment charges Ashley Schutt with murder, felony murder and possession of a knife. It also includes new counts of aggravated assault and false statements. Schutt allegedly lied to police at the outset of the investigation, telling them two men stormed her home, sexually assaulted her and knifed her husband.

When a hospital exam showed no signs of rape, Schutt recanted her story, telling police she killed her husband in self-defense, a detective testified last summer.

Police believe Greg Schutt was killed in his sleep. Blood tests revealed he was heavily medicated at the time.

Family members and Schutt's defense attorney have suggested her alleged actions were the last straw in a long pattern of violence.

An attorney lobbied to have the murder charges lessened to voluntary manslaughter, which a Magistrate Court judge denied, sending the case to Superior Court for indictment.

Schutt had been planning to file for divorce, her family said.