Wife's defense attorney: Husband could've killed self

Laurie Alexander

Laurie Alexander

LAWRENCEVILLE -- During a hysterical 911 call, a woman identifying herself as Laurie Alexander repeatedly beckons her dead husband to "wake up."

"I can't wake him up and he's blue," the caller says. "I've never seen anything like this. He's not breathing; he's cold. I found out he was cheating on me last night ..."

The recording, logged on Dec. 8, 2007, led evidence from prosecutors in the opening stages of Alexander's murder trial Tuesday. She's accused of fatally stabbing her husband, Ronald Kent Alexander, 44, in the kitchen of their Dacula home that morning.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Vandever said the killing was an act of vengeance, prompted when Laurie Alexander found numerous text messages from her husband's mistress the prior night. Police initially labeled the case a suspicious death but arrested her on murder charges a few days later.

She faces life in prison on counts of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and weapons possession.

Former Gwinnett police Officer Douglas Chambers testified Alexander acted peculiar during questioning at her The Terraces Way home, running an emotional gamut between sorrow, anger and playfulness over several hours.

"She went from being emotional to becoming irritated," Chambers testified. "She told me ... 'I didn't kill him.'"

Another Gwinnett officer on scene, Anne Weed, testified that Alexander said the couple's arguments had become "extremely frequent" over the years.

Alexander's defense attorney, Jeff Sliz, painted the victim as a washed-up former athlete who drank at his corporate job, abused prescription medication, had fallen behind to creditors and sustained an affair with a married woman for years.

Those factors, Sliz claimed, could support theories that Ronald Kent Alexander may have killed himself, either accidentally or not.

"His life was spiraling ... into the trash can," Sliz said.

On the eve of the killing, Laurie Alexander called her daughter and said she planned to file for divorce after uncovering her husband's infidelities, Sliz said. She too was heavily medicated following a vehicle accident in 2006, but she lacked "the physical wherewithal to stick the knife deep enough in her husband" to be fatal, he said.

Sliz offered no alternate suspects who may have wanted his client's husband dead.

Photos taken by crime scene investigators show a pan containing cooked eggs had been placed beneath the kitchen sink, while a half-eaten egg sandwich lay on the counter beside a spilled bottle of Heinz 57 and a long knife. A nearby butcher's block was missing a single knife, an investigator pointed out.

Sliz argued evidence at the scene had been compromised by the couple's small, white dog, which was caught by police licking from blood pooled at the scene. Laurie Alexander held the dog, and blood could have transferred to her clothing, he said.

The victim's family declined comment outside the courtroom.