NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Cheryl McCafferty took the stand in her own defense on Tuesday, describing the events that led up to her husband's murder.
The woman on trial for murdering her husband was the second witness that defense attorneys called to the stand Tuesday afternoon.
Their first witness, Det. Brad Adams with Fort Thomas Police, testified that he pulled a cell phone and Keith Gambrel's business card from the scene.
Keith Gambrel is the attorney McCafferty was going to use to file divorce from her husband. He was also the attorney that Amy Bosley used when she was on trial for murdering her husband. Prosecutors say McCafferty researched the Amy Bosley case on the Internet five days prior to Bob's death. Defense attorneys argue McCafferty only researched the case to get information on Gambrel.
McCafferty took the stand around 1:30 p.m. Her voice trembled as she spoke, and she talked in a low voice. Before she took the stand, she signaled the sign of the cross.
"To be sitting here is very scary," she told jurors. "I'm scared I won't be able to portray the fear and emotion of what went on that day."
Her attorney, Deanna Dennison, asked her if she shot her husband.
"I did," McCafferty admitted. "I had to."
Cheryl McCafferty then began to recount what happened the night before Bob's death. At about 9:30 p.m., she said she made an appointment with Gambrel for the next day to discuss filing for divorce. However, she said at that point, she still wasn't sure if she wanted to file.
She then went into her son, Patrick's, room to put him to bed. She said even though he was 12 years old, he had a hard time falling asleep unless she was there. Later, she said Bob came into the room and pulled her into their bedroom, where she got ready for bed and went to sleep.
Cheryl McCafferty says she was awakened by Bob sitting on top of her with a gun to her mouth, trying to get it in her mouth. He asked her why she wanted a divorce.
"This was not Bob," McCafferty said on the stand. "His eyes were so evil."
Cheryl McCafferty said she felt like she was underwater as her husband sat on top of her. She says that he told her she had to die. As she spoke, she used a deep, raspy voice to explain what Bob was saying.
Cheryl McCafferty then testified that Bob got up and started pacing around the room, and she didn't know what to do, so she ran for the door.
She claimed that he grabbed her and threw her into the closet. Her head hit a cabinet and she fell to the ground. She thought she had died. Bob was described as being in a "rage."
According to her testimony, Bob kept saying, "If you don't kill yourself, I'll kill the kids and you will want to die."
She heard a click and bang and thought she was shot. Her ears were ringing.
"It was a nightmare," she said.
Cheryl says Bob then picked her up and threw her onto the bed. He was pacing back and forth in the bedroom. Cheryl described herself as cowering against the headboard, begging him to stop.
"You've turned everybody against me," Bob said. C
Cheryl replied that she loved him and would stop seeking a divorce.
The gun was still against her head.
"You know you have to die", Cheryl quoted her husband.
She said it was an eerily calm voice he used, "I'm going to kill you or the kids."
Cheryl told the jury she knew what her husband could do. She lay on the bed for a long time with Bob next to her and the gun to her shirt. She closed her eyes. Finally she felt him twitch and knew that he was asleep.
As daylight entered the room she was afraid the lights, or the sprinklers, or the puppy, which was also in the room, would wake bob. He had told her she was not leaving that room. Cheryl said that she was out of options.
"I'm not leaving that house without the gun and my kids," she said.
From the witness stand, Cheryl described slowly reaching around Bob and grabbing the gun. She acted out her actions while seated in the box. She said she was thinking about the puppy which was in the cage in their bedroom.
Bob opened his eyes and raised his head.
"I shot him," McCafferty croaked out. "I dropped the gun. The puppy was crying."
She then described going to the bathroom to get her glasses and cell phone. Cheryl says she went to the family room and wrapped her self in a blanket, called her mom to come and get the kids, and then dialed 911
She remembers walking out of the house when the police arrived. She dropped the blanket and doesn't remember much more.
"All I could think about was Bob and the kids," she testified.
She described herself as hysterical and hyperventilating. Police took her to the hospital and then into custody.
Under cross examination, Prosecutor Michelle Snodgrass tried to discredit Cheryl McCafferty's testimony.
Snodgrass brought up McCafferty's financial situation, and how evidence showed that Cheryl would write checks to herself from Bob's account. Snodgrass also questioned her about a credit card statement that was sent to her parents' house so Bob wouldn't know about it, and Cheryl said it was a credit card she had in the case of emergencies.
Snodgrass also tried to point out holes in McCafferty's testimony. On the stand, Cheryl said her husband was supportive of their daughter's modeling career, but Snodgrass pointed out that in a taped conversation with her mom from jail, Cheryl said Bob was against Molly becoming a model.
Snodgrass also pointed out that Cheryl asked her boss for a day off work to visit an attorney, but she actually took a trip to Lake Norris. Cheryl said she went to Lake Norris because Bob made her go.
Cheryl was also questioned about how she would sent cards to Bob telling him she loved him and wanted to keep their marriage together. Snodgrass also wondered why Cheryl didn't check on her children after Bob was shot.
It was somewhat of a shock that defense attorneys called Cheryl McCafferty to the stand so early in their case. On Wednesday, they resumed their case by calling witnesses to the stand.