The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 16, 2013

UPDATE: Birge sentenced to 12 years already served in 2001 death of husband

ATHENS — A former Madison woman once convicted of capital murder in the 2001 fatal overdose of her husband in Limestone County has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the crime and sentenced to time already served in prison —  12 years.

District Attorney Brian Jones, who had planned to retry Kathy Diane Birge, 59, for capital murder in the 2001 death of Cecil Birge, offered the deal to Birge today in Limestone County Circuit Court.

Birge, who was tearful as deputies escorted her from the courtroom in cuffs, shackles and her striped prison uniform, said she was relieved.

She will again seek parole, in about a year, on the forgery and theft convictions, related to the 2001 crime, that have kept her in prison.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jim Ayers Jr. after the hearing that the death of a key prosecution witness, the purging of physical evidence at the Indiana lab where Cecil's body was examined and his family's wish that his body not be re-exhumed were factors in trying to settle the case.

Circuit Judge Bob Baker, as per the agreement, sentenced Birge to 145 months — or 12 years — which she has already served in prison for forgery and theft related to the manslaughter.

She was convicted in 2003 of giving Cecil a lethal dose of Soma on May 5, 2001, at their Copperfield Subdivision home in Limestone County. However, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction in 2007 due to a chain-of-evidence issue related to pathology evidence.

Still, Birge remained jailed these past years because she had pleaded guilty to forgery on the first day of her capital murder trial and was also convicted of theft, said former District Attorney Kristi Valls, who originally tried Birge.

Jones, who took office in January 2011, told The News Courier as late as Tuesday he and his staff were trying to find time to travel to Indiana, where Cecil is buried, to determine whether evidence could still be gathered to retry the case.

1
Text Only
Local News
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee