Ohio man found not guilty of staging woman as suicide
It took a jury just under three hours to acquit an Ohio man who Friday murdered his wife and staged it in what appeared to be a suicide.
Matheau Moore, 51, sobbed and cradled his face in his palms in a Delaware County courtroom as the judge read out the verdict that he was not guilty of two counts of murder and one count of felony assault.
Emily Noble disappeared on her 52nd birthday on May 24, 2020, sparking a manhunt, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
She was found about four months later, her severely decomposed remains hanging from a branch in the forest by a USB cable wrapped around her neck.
Prosecutors charged Moore with killing his wife and then lining up her body to mislead investigators.
A forensic anthropologist, a pathologist and Delaware County Coroner’s Office officials said the cause of death was homicide and hanging would not cause the injuries she sustained to her neck.
But a defense expert, Heather Garmin, a forensic anthropologist, said bones in the neck can be very fragile and could have fractured from the weight of their bodies.
In the closing statements, Moore’s defense attorney Diane Menashe argued that Noble endured tragedy after tragedy and finally gave in to her grief and took her own life about two years after her marriage to Moore, Law&Crime reported.
Most recently, Moore’s 17-year-old son committed suicide, and Noble was heartbroken. Her first husband also committed suicide, and she lost her mother in a car accident.
Delware County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper told jurors that Noble always prevailed in the face of adversity and there was no reason her stepson’s death should have caused her to end her own life.
She saw a therapist, exercised, and was about to return to work, while Moore was “unemployed, sitting at home, getting drunk,” the prosecutor said, pointing at the defendant.
There was no evidence Moore ever molested Noble, and prosecutors did not provide a clear motive for the alleged murder.
The prosecution’s case was “completely speculative,” Menashe said in summary.