CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – A woman charged with killing a man whose body was entombed in concrete claims she was pressured into confessing to murder.
The Roanoke Times reports (http://bit.ly/1L8yB63 ) that Janice Burney Widenor's attorney asked a judge to allow an expert witness to testify about police interrogation techniques and how they can produce unreliable confessions. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Marc Long denied the motion, saying jurors can decide for themselves on the confession's validity.
Widenor's trial is set for Dec. 7. She is charged with killing 70-year-old James Austin and concealing his body inside a house in Elliston.
Defense attorney Dennis Nagel says Austin had been a fugitive living with Widenor. Nagel says Austin died of natural causes, and Widenor hid his remains because she feared being punished for aiding a fugitive.