It took a jury just under three hours to find an Ohio man not guilty Friday of murdering his wife and staging it to look like a suicide.
Matheau Moore, 51, sobbed and cradled his face in the palms of his hands in a Delaware County courtroom when the judge read the verdict of not guilty to two counts of murder and one count of felonious assault.
Emily Noble vanished on her 52nd birthday May 24, 2020, sparking a manhunt, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
She was found about four months later, her badly decomposed remains hanging from a tree branch in the woods from a USB cord wrapped around her neck.
Prosecutors accused Moore of killing his wife then stringing up her corpse to mislead investigators.
A forensic anthropologist, a pathologist and officials form the Delaware County Coroner’s Office said the cause of death was homicide and that a hanging would not cause the injuries she had sustained to her neck.
But a defense expert, Heather Garmin, a forensic anthropologist, said that bones in the neck can be very fragile, and could have snapped from weight of her body.
In closing statements, Moore’s defense lawyer Diane Menashe argued that Noble had endured tragedy after tragedy and finally gave in to her grief, taking her own life, about two years into her marriage to Moore, Law&Crime reported.
Most recently, Moore’s 17-year-old son had committed suicide and Noble was deeply shaken by this. Her first husband also died from suicide, and she lost her mother in a car accident.
Delware County prosecutor Mark Sleeper told jurors that Noble had always pulled through in the face of adversity, and there was no reason the death of her stepson would have triggered her to end her own life.
She was seeing a therapist, exercising and 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 that Moore had ever abused Noble, and the prosecution provided no clear motive for the alleged murder.
The prosecution’s case was “totally speculation,” Menashe said in summations.