When a person goes to trial, his or her defense attorney works to paint him or her in the best light. Stories can be skewed from one side to the other, so hearing your testimony or side of the story can be very important to your case.
In this case, a man accused of killing his wife over a divorce has been painted as a murderer with foul intentions, but his defense claims that simply isn't true. Instead, they say he was suicidal and depressed and never premeditated his wife's murder.
The claim that he's a cold-blooded killer is returned with the claim that he was a loving parent who was pushed too far by his wife's request for 80-percent custody of their son. So what really happened? There are two sides to the story, but it appears that he killed his wife, who was found floating in their pool in September 2013. Was this a premeditated murder, or was it a voluntary manslaughter? The difference could mean volumes for the man.
According to the story, his wife decided to file for divorce and went as far as to show the paperwork to their 12-year-old son, who threw the documents into the pool. Later that day, he attacked her with knives, killing her by stabbing.
What led up to the attack? It's claimed that she had been cheating on her husband; they had suffered the loss of a stillborn child together, and her husband was deeply depressed and suicidal. In fact, he had suicide notes in the home indicating that he intended to hurt himself, not his wife. When the man received divorce papers indicating that he'd get only 20 percent of the month with his son, he snapped, his defense claims. That's when the attack happened. He stayed at the scene and called 911 to turn himself in; his attorney suggests that he simply snapped and was overwhelmed, acting unlike himself.
Source: Handsford Sentinel, "Attorneys paint different pictures of Todd Pate," Mike Eiman, Aug. 15, 2016