Chaos reigns in bizarre trial of accused wife killer

April 10, 2013 3:06:47 PM PDT
A father accused of beating a woman to death in front of their three young kids is on trial. He's on the defense, acting as his own attorney, and there were fireworks in court Wednesday.

Jason Bouchard says he doesn't trust the U.S. legal system, and that's why he's representing himself. Prosecutors are painting Bouchard as a sort of a conspiracy theorist, but he says he has a very good reason for killing his ex-wife.

There was chaos and confusion as Bouchard took the stand. Jurors watched as he alternated between sobbing hysterically and calmly describing how he killed his ex-wife, saying, "She dropped. It wasn't real, like a flop you would see in basketball or soccer."

Bouchard has no formal legal education. During the trial he's even raised objections to his own disorganized questioning.

In the hallway, Bouchard's mother collapsed due to stress, and his ex-wife's family walked out in tears.

"I don't think he's crazy. I think he's evil," said Michelle Wilson, the victim's cousin. "I really think he's evil because he remembers every single thing that he did and just goes into detail about it.

Bouchard admits he killed his ex-wife, Terri Sanvicente, on Christmas Eve in 2009. He says he waited for a rainy night, set the home on fire and took a crowbar and beat Sanvicente to death as his three young children watched.

Bouchard testified he planned the murder for days, saying, "I tried to figure out my murder weapon, how I was going to do it. I wasn't going to accept failure."

Bouchard says he was justified in killing Sanvicente because he thought she was molesting his then five-year-old daughter.

"What's a father to do? What was I to do? My daughter was saying she was being raped," he testified.

"I don't even think he's trying to convince anybody of anything. I think he's just evil," Wilson said. "You don't do that to somebody. You don't do that in front of your children."

If Bouchard is found guilty, he will go to prison for the rest of his life.

Our legal analyst calls this case 'every judge's worst nightmare' and says he doesn't think there's any chance that Bouchard will be found not guilty.

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