HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — A grandmother, accused of murdering her husband and then setting his house on fire during his arrest, has been found not guilty.
Janet Alexander, 72, was acquitted on Tuesday of the murder of Lionel Alexander, 64. The trial lasted six days.
It was April 27, 2018, when Houston police were called to a house on Valley Wind Drive on the east side of the city.
Lionel Alexander had been stabbed to death. Janet told police the couple got into a fight and things got out of hand.
He had a knife, she said, and she took control of it. She said she acted in self-defense after decades of abuse.
Houston police confirmed they had already been called to the home. An autopsy revealed that Lionel Alexander had been stabbed 89 times.
A year later, a grand jury indicted Janet Alexander, and when the police went to serve the warrant on April 2019she set herself and her house on fire, burning it almost to the ground.
Alexander’s criminal defense attorney, Joe Wells, said the years of suffering led to what he said was a suicide attempt when he was arrested. I said the jury returned the correct verdict.
“She suffered so much from him, both physically and emotionally. It was quite shocking,” Wells said. “She finally broke down. She couldn’t take it anymore, and when I threatened her, she decided it was time to fight.”
Wells said the couple’s children stood by her during the trial, and afterward, jurors said they were surprised she hadn’t fought back sooner. The couple had been married for over 40 years.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.