Lawrenceburg Now

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lawrence Man Garners Life Sentence In Murder Of Estranged Wife

   After two hours of deliberation Thursday night a Wayne County jury returned a verdict of guilty against a Lawrence County man, tried on first degree murder charges in the death of his estranged wife.

   Dennis Allen Rayfield was arrested in connection with the March 19, 2012 death of estranged wife Julie Pope Rayfield. A relative found Julie Rayfield’s body in the bathroom of her 1144 Pope Circle Road home after she failed to drop her four-year-old child off before work.

Authorities reported that she had perished as the result of a single, small caliber gunshot wound to the head.

   Dennis Rayfield, age 33, of 9 Valley Road, Lawrenceburg, surrendered himself to local authorities two days later. He told them that he had at first believed he had only dreamed about his wife’s murder, but later realized it had actually occurred. The couple had been separated for around six months.

   A Wayne County deputy testified that Rayfield’s vehicle was parked at Mount Hope Church the night of the murder.

Authorities alleged that he walked approximately ½ mile to Julie Rayfield’s home, entered through a window and shot her.

The couple’s child was reportedly asleep at the time of her death. The youngster was still inside the home when her body was discovered.

   The defense argued that Rayfield had been at home, asleep when the murder occurred. Prosecutors, however, presented evidence indicating that that a few days after the murder, bloodhounds were able to track Rayfield’s scent from the victim’s house directly to where the truck had been parked.

   After listening to testimony for four days the panel deliberated for two hours before rendering the first degree murder conviction.

The conviction carries an automatic sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Prosecutors said that Rayfield will be required to serve 51 years imprisoned before becoming eligible for parole consideration.

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