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Bedridden woman, charged in husband’s death, dies

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — A bedridden, 69-year-old woman awaiting a second trial for murder in the shooting death of her husband has died.

Martha Faye Staggs, who had served 18 months in prison before her first conviction was set aside on appeal, died of colon cancer Friday while awaiting a retrial in the 1994 death of Gerald Staggs, 56.

Circuit Judge Mac Parsons had issued a warrant in November for Staggs’ arrest after she missed a Nov. 20 status conference on her case.

But she was terminally ill at the time and the warrant was never served.

Relatives said no one expected her to live to see a new trial. Parsons said Monday the case will be “abated by death.”

Stagg’s lawyer, Mari Morrison, said the real killer was never brought to justice. “I really feel she would have been vindicated at a new trial,” Morrison said.

Staggs, who lived in Pleasant Grove with her sister, was diagnosed with cancer in May 2005.

The prison system spent $84,000 on Staggs’ medical care while she was in the hospice unit at Tutwiler Prison for Women during her incarceration.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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