'I was falsely accused': Widow cleared in husband's death faces new legal challenges

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman who has been exonerated in her husband's death spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday.

Tu Thien Huynh said she's looking forward to getting back to life as a mother.

"From the very beginning I was attacked left and right. I was falsely accused of the most heinous attack and not allowed to mourn Steven's passing," said Huynh.

Huynh was charged with murder in the February death of her husband Steven Hafer.

"Nothing in life can prepare you for finding your husband dead. Even now I find it impossible to put my experience into words," she said.

WATCH ORIGINAL STORY: Woman accused of staging husband's murder as suicide

During her first court appearance in February, the mother was emotional appearing before a judge. Prosecutors said at the time the shotgun found in the house had been wiped clean and the shot's path didn't match that of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Huynh said she was fired from her job as a nurse. Her attorneys said the blame was placed on her too quickly.

"In my opinion law enforcement jumped to conclusions. They saw something and ran with it without checking the evidence. Once the M.E. saw it, it was quickly ruled a suicide," said attorney David Armbruster.

Former HPD Officer Rob Kimmons is now employed as a private investigator. He has worked for families who wanted an independent cause of death. He said in police work suicides are pretty obvious about two-thirds of the time, but there are cases that can be difficult to determine.

"They are looking at the trajectory of the bullet, and anybody that was there they are taking statements to see if the evidence matches the statements," said Kimmons.

The Harris County DA's Office released this statement:

"Please be advised that following a Harris County medical examiner ruling that Steven Hafer's death in February was a suicide, not homicide, the murder charge against Thu Thien Huynh has been dropped."

The following is a quote from David Mitcham, Trial Bureau Chief for the Harris County District Attorney's Office:

"Investigators make tough decisions at crime scenes. After further review of the evidence, the medical examiner has concluded this was a suicide, not homicide. Based on the evidence, we filed a motion that was signed by a judge and the charge has been dismissed. Whatever first impressions may be, ultimately decisions are based on the evidence."

Steven Hafer's parents have not returned our calls for comment.

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