Jury Will Decide Whether Woman Murdered Ex-Husband Or Killed In Self Defense

Published: Feb. 21, 2006 at 9:25 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2006 at 3:51 PM EST
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By Carrie Weil

(LOUISVILLE, Feb. 21st, 2006) -- From high school sweethearts to one deadly night -- a jury will soon decide if an Oldham County woman shot her ex-husband in self defense or murdered him in cold blood. WAVE 3's Carrie Weil has an update as jury selection gets under way in the trial of Donna Fryman.

Police say Donna Fryman shot her husband, Melvin "Dan" Fryman, twice in the chest and once in the hand on January 12, 2004, in the half-million dollar home they shared on Ridgemoor Court in Prospect.

Police and an Oldhman Country grand jury say it was murder. But her attorney, Steven Romines, says it was self-defense, and that his client had been abused for months before the shooting.

"She had every reason to believe she was in danger, mortal danger," Romines said. "The guy had a gun on her."

The two had divorced in 2002, but were still living together two years later. They also owned an interior design business.

Personally and professionally, both were broke, and they had just filed for bankruptcy before Melvin Fryman was killed.

Tight-lipped about the case, Oldham Commonwealth Attorney Barry Moore will claim Fryman shot her ex-husband in a jealous rage. And he says he'll provide evidence that she had a violent temper.

"A lot of preparation has gone into it," Moore says, "but I really don't want to discuss the points of the case right now."

Tape recordings of police interviews and one made by Donna Fryman herself right after the shooting will be played at the trial, letting jurors hear from her whether or not she takes the stand.

Her attorney says Fryman is nervous, but "ready for the jury to hear her side of it."

Fryman has been free on bond since she was indicted in 2004, but by the end of trial -- which is expected to last two to three weeks -- a jury could decide to send her away to prison for life.

Online Reporter: Carrie Weil

Online Producer: Michael Dever