Murder conviction upheld in spouse stabbing

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Ashley Suzanne Schutt, accused of stabbing her husband dozens of times after spiking his dinner with sleeping pills.

A Gwinnett County jury convicted Schutt two years ago in the brutal 2009 murder of her husband, Gregg, inside their Lawrenceville home. On the night in question, the then-29-year-old reportedly laced her husband's dinner with Ambien sleeping pills before stabbing him approximately 38 times all over his body, slitting his throat and wrists and beating him with a hammer.

She later claimed a group of "three black men" had broken into her home, raped her and killed her husband.

Schutt was originally sentenced to life for murder, plus an additional 20 years for aggravated assault and 15 more years for remaining weapons and false statements charges. While the state's highest court upheld her murder conviction Monday, it did rule that her aggravated assault sentence should be voided.

"The evidence showed that (Schutt) 'cut the victim's throat after she inflicted the fatal injuries, and it is not clear that there was any deliberate interval between the assaults," Justice David Nahmias wrote in his opinion. "Accordingly, Appellant's aggravated assault and malice murder convictions merged, and her sentence for aggravated assault must be vacated."