Opening statements are underway in the case of a western Iowa woman who’s accused of murdering her husband and hiding his body in a bedroom of her Defiance home. Prosecutor Charles Thoman says Dixie Shanahan had chances to escape from her abusive husband, Scott, but she chose to stay. Thoman also suggested the murder may have had something to do with Scott Shanahan’s 150-thousand dollar inheritance running out. Thoman says in July of 2002, a bank officer called the Shanahans to tell them the inheritance account had dropped below one-thousand dollars.Thoman says “within a month, the account was zeroed out, and also within about a month, Scott Shanahan was dead.” Thoman says there is no doubt Scott Shanahan was abusive, and he says most people would’ve found him “hard to like.” But, he says Dixie Shanahan committed a premeditated crime by taking a loaded shotgun and shooting her husband in the back of the head as he slept.Dixie Shanahan’s attorney, Greg Steensland, is making opening statements today. Steensland says he plans to argue that Dixie Shanahan was justified in killing her husband because of the abuse she had to endure.
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