Woman found guilty of poisoning her boyfriend sentenced to life in prison; judge grants bond during appeal
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A woman found guilty of second-degree murder in the poisoning death of her boyfriend has been sentenced to life in prison without parole but an appeal was filed and the judge has granted her bond during that process.
Meshell Hale appeared in court and received the mandatory life sentence on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Her attorneys then filed an appeal on the murder conviction. The judge has granted her a $300,000 bond to allow her to remain out of jail during the appeal process. She will be back in court on Feb. 22, 2023.
She will remain behind bars until the DA’s office files a case to challenge her bond.
Hale was suspected of using Barium Acetate to poison her boyfriend, Damian Skipper, who she referred to as her husband, in 2015. She was also suspected of killing her late husband, Arthur Noflin, who died in 2016. This trial focused on Skipper, who lived in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Prosecutors and the defense gave their closing arguments during Hale’s trial Thursday morning, Dec. 15. She was found guilty of second-degree murder Friday, Dec. 16.
In their last-ditch effort to convince the judge, both sides put everything they had left on the table. Prosecutors showed strong evidence of text messages between Hale and her daughter Joy, who was 14 years old at the time, that showed Hale allegedly purchased Barium Acetate three times and was speaking in code about Damian Skipper. The defense claimed none of the evidence presented was enough to prove Hale is guilty.
The judge, in this case, was expected to give his ruling at some point on Friday after he had a day to review the evidence. Prosecutors were originally asking him to find Hale guilty of first-degree murder.
The family of both men could be seen standing outside of the courthouse Friday morning after the guilty verdict was handed down.
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