Jim Melgar was brutally murdered in his home in Houston, Texas having been stabbed over 30 times in 2012. His wife Sandra was charged and convicted of his murder, however, major doubts have been cast over her role in his death.
The couple were celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary, they had been out for Mexican food, and were relaxing in the jacuzzi their dogs started barking in their backyard. According to Sandra, Jim went to check on the dogs and as he was gone a long time she got out and went into her walk-in closet. She claims she remembers nothing of the night after that.
The next afternoon, Jim’s brother and his family turned up at the house, they discovered Sandra tied up and locked in her closet with a chair in front of the door. Jim was laying naked in the bedroom closet, about 30 feet from Sandra, having been stabbed to death, he had received numerous defensive wounds. The house had been ransacked.
The scene appeared to have all the hallmarks of a brutal home invasion. Sandra claimed that she must have had a seizure and blacked out, perhaps after being struck over the head. A sufferer of lupus, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism, Sandra had had numerous seizures in the past.
However, police were suspicious of Sandra and began building a case against her. They argued that there was no home invasion, believing Sandra had first seduced then killed her husband. They demonstrated that it how it was possible to lock herself in the closet. There was also no sign of forced entry in the home and it was suggested that the ransacking of the house looked staged.
Sandra’s defense lawyers argued that her hands and clothes were clean of any wounds or blood, and there was zero evidence of a clean-up. They also pointed to the findings of DNA in the house that belonged to no one in the Melgar family.
There are various campaigns and groups who believe that she may have been a victim of a miscarriage of justice, including some offering a reward for information about the case.
Sandra is currently serving a 27-year sentence, but an appeal is expected to be heard in late 2019.
The case is examined on 20/20 at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.
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