Opening statements made in McCafferty trial

Cheryl McCafferty
Cheryl McCafferty
Cheryl McCafferty makes her way to the courtroom prior to opening statements on Tuesday morning
Cheryl McCafferty makes her way to the courtroom prior to opening statements on Tuesday morning

Reported By Sara Gouedy - bio | email
Posted by Trina Kinstler - email

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Opening statements began Tuesday in the case of a Fort Thomas woman accused of murdering her husband.

Cheryl McCafferty faces life in prison for allegedly shooting her husband, Bob, in the head.

Just after 10 a.m., attorneys, reporters, family members and other onlookers made their way into the courtroom.

Prosecutors made their opening statements first, citing reasons why Cheryl McCafferty would have killed her husband.

One of the reasons prosecutors cited was that Cheryl was about $50,000 in debt, and allegedly forged Bob's signature on checks that were made out to her. Prosecutors say that not long before Bob's death, the couple went on a trip to Lake Norris, where Cheryl McCafferty told her husband she wanted a divorce and Bob accused her of stealing from him.

Another point of disagreement between the couple was Cheryl's desire for their daughter, Molly, to pursue a modeling career.

Prosecutors also say that prior to Bob's death, Cheryl McCafferty performed Internet searches on the Amy Bosley case and other cases where wives were accused of murdering their husbands.

After a short break, defense attorneys began their opening statements, arguing that Cheryl McCafferty had not planned to kill her husband, and that he was violent against her. Defense attorneys say the violence became worse over time, and that Bob McCafferty would beat his wife, and at one point, even urinated on her. Defense attorneys say Cheryl will take the stand in her own defense during the trial.

Cheryl McCafferty consulted with a lawyer about a divorce on June 18, 2007, and few days after that, defense attorneys say Bob McCafferty snapped.

It was a Sunday afternoon, and the family had gone to church, Wendy's and Radio Shack in Fort Thomas. Defense attorneys say that while at Radio Shack, Bob became very upset, and that temperament continued on the drive home. Attorneys say he was screaming at Cheryl and their daughter, telling Molly that he did not want her living with her mother in the case of a divorce. The argument continued into Molly's bedroom when the family got home, where defense attorneys say Bob McCafferty threw a computer on the ground and told Cheryl that she was a failure.

That night, defense attorneys say Cheryl McCafferty fell asleep in her son, Patrick's, room, when she was awakened by Bob McCafferty pulling her hair and dragging her to their bedroom. She fell back asleep, and her attorneys say she woke up again to find Bob McCafferty on top of her, threatening her with a gun. Attorneys say Bob threw Cheryl into a closet and told her she needed to kill herself, or he would kill their kids. He then allegedly fired a shot into the closet.

Eventually, attorneys say the pair went back to bed, and Cheryl was afraid to move a muscle because she was fearing for her life. But when she saw that Bob was asleep, she maneuvered in such a way that she was able to get the gun from him, but woke him up in the process. Attorneys say she had a split second to decide what to do, so she shot him.

There were several tears shed as this story was told in the courtroom, including from Cheryl McCafferty, her attorney making the statement, family members, and several jurors.

Defense attorneys also argued that Cheryl was not stealing from Bob, but he controlled the finances in ways that she could not pay the bills with her salary. Cheryl was an account executive at the Cincinnati Enquirer at the time, earning an unsteady base salary.

The courtroom was going to take a lunch break before prosecutors call their first witness.

FOX19 reporter Sara Gouedy is following the trial. Get her reports at And also be sure to check out FOX19's page devoted to trial coverage here.