Brian Scobee's family members held hands while they waited for the jury of seven men and five women to announce a guilty verdict in the trial against Lisa Ann Scobee in Clay Circuit Court Thursday evening.
"We finally have justice. My son can rest in peace now," Brian Scobee's mother Leonora Alspaugh told The Brazil Times as she left the courthouse. "There's still a lot of things we will never know about what happened that night, but our family has given it all over to God now."
Although Lisa Ann Scobee left the courthouse with family members, defense attorney Darrell Felling spoke to The Times.
Felling, who made a public apology during his closing remarks, said the trial had been a difficult process for everyone involved.
"This trial has been tough on everyone who is dealing with this tragic death. It has been an unfortunate tragedy," Felling said about asking such tough questions of Brian Scobee's family and friends. "I felt that something needed to be said, and I sincerely meant it."
Felling said he would be meeting with Lisa Ann on Monday to discuss what options are available to her now.
"I probably will recommend an appeal to Lisa, but it will ultimately be her decision," Felling said. "We respect the jury's verdict but don't agree with it."
Jury members were urged to scrutinize charging information and every piece of evidence presented during the case before returning a verdict, but the prosecution and defense offered different reasons why.
Deputy Prosecutor Chou-il Lee told jurors there is plenty of evidence to explain why Lisa Ann didn't call 911 on Nov. 13, 2005 -- fear of being arrested for being drunk at the scene of an accident where her husband, Brian Scobee, died from resulting head injuries -- but he didn't have to prove that.
"What did Lisa Ann do to help Brian? She testified that she cradled his head and covered him with a blanket," Lee said, then asking the jury to think about what happens to a man who just fell out of a moving vehicle onto the pavement of County Road 200 West. "Is it reasonable to believe that Brian was not injured?"
Felling has claimed the prosecutions' witnesses disproved key elements necessary to convict his client of failure to stop after accident resulting in death. On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Joseph Trout denied Felling's motion to request a "direct verdict" because of the lack of evidence to prove the class C felony charge, leaving that decision to the jury.
Felling asked jurors to put themselves in his client's place so they could understand what happened that night.
"Good heavens, there's no proof that she didn't try to help her husband. Why should Lisa Ann, who has no medical background, be expected to be able to determine if Brian had a skull fracture or internal injuries? She thought he was passed out, like she had seen him so many times before," Felling said, adding that even the police and medical personal that arrived on the scene didn't find any injuries on Brian. "Bottom line is this, no one knew the extent of Brian Scobee's injuries, especially Lisa Ann Scobee."
In rebuttal, Lee pointed out Lisa Ann didn't have to be able to diagnose brain or internal injuries.
"(She) just had to be able to reasonably know if Brian suffered injury," he said, then provided the answer to why emergency response personnel and Lisa Ann's brother didn't know the extent of Brian Scobee's injuries. "Lisa Ann Scobee was the only person on the scene that night that knew Brian Scobee fell out of a moving vehicle. Everyone else was working in the dark. She knew everything, but didn't act."
Judge Trout ordered a pre-sentencing report to be completed no later than 4 p.m., on Thurs., Feb. 5, so that it would be available for the court to review before the sentencing hearing on 10:30 a.m., Mon., Feb 11. Lisa Ann is currently out on a bond initially set in 2005, which was not readjusted by Judge Trout.