‘I know that my dad didn’t kill her’: Daughter says justice was not served in Cheney man’s murder trial

SPOKANE, Wash. – The daughter of a man convicted of killing his wife by overdose says justice was not served. 

Elizabeth Culp is the daughter of David Pettis, who was found guilty of murder by a jury on Tuesday. 

The jury determined Pettis killed his 64-year-old wife in 2018 by giving her a lethal amount of drugs crushed up in her ice cream. 

Culp, who is also the daughter of the victim, said her mother frequently used pain medications and it was common for her to take them crushed up. 

She believes the whole situation was an accident. 

“I feel awful, I feel even more awful than I did before because I know that my dad didn’t kill her and it certainly wasn’t premeditated,” Culp said after the verdict. 

Prosecutors argued that Pettis killed his wife while trying to engage in an extra-marital affair. They said he named himself the beneficiary of his wife’s new life insurance policy around that time. 

Shortly after her death, Pettis called the Medical Examiner’s Office and was upset at the time it was taking to produce a final autopsy report. That was because of the amount of time it took to obtain a toxicology report. 

He also contacted the toxicology lab directly to try to influence them to provide the results sooner, stating he needed to collect the life insurance policy money to pay for funeral expenses. 

The toxicology report ultimately showed that the victim had multiple drugs in her system, including Hydrocodone, Trazadone and Benadryl. The amount of Hydrocodone was at a lethal level. 

Pettis was immediately taken into custody following the verdict. He will be sentenced at a later date.

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