The first full day of testimony is underway now in the murder trial of Dixie Shanahan, the western Iowa woman accused in the shotgun slaying of her husband. The defense made its opening statements yesterday and for the first time, the public learned the exact date Shanahan killed her abusive husband in their Defiance home, where the body was kept more than a year. Shanahan’s attorney, Greg Steensland, told the story of what happened on the day Shanahan shot her husband, Scott Shanahan. Steensland says “On August 30th, 2002, the battering stopped.” Steensland says Dixie Shanahan was pregnant at the time, and on that date, Scott Shanahan had thrown Dixie to the ground and threatened her and the unborn child, and demanded she have an abortion. According to Steensland, Scott Shanahan said, “You’re not having that child. The day isn’t over. Watch out.” Steensland says Dixie Shanahan shot her husband when she thought he was going for a shotgun.The prosecution is arguing Shanahan killed her husband while he was sleeping and the shooting was the result of Scott Shanahan’s six-figure inheritance money running out. The prosecution started calling witnesses yesterday, and could be finished calling witnesses today. Then, the defense will start calling witnesses. Steensland says he plans to call 32 people to the stand, including Dixie Shanahan herself.
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