Husband accused of killing wife

Four Witnesses Take Stand As Pattison Murder Trial Gets Underway

By Peter Neumann
By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

October 25, 2010 Updated Oct 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM EDT

WABASH, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Will a largely circumstantial case be enough to win a conviction against accused murderer Scott Pattison?

Testimony began in Wabash Monday, in the trial for the man charged with suffocating his wife Lisa to death last year.

Only four witnesses took the stand on day one, including two police officers, a paramedic and a 911 dispatcher.

They relayed some of the details from their contact with Scott Pattison on July 2nd of 2009.

That's the day he claims he returned to the couple's LaFontaine Indiana home, to find his wife unresponsive on a workout bench with a weighted bar across her throat.

In opening statements, Prosecutor Bill Hartley told jurors, “When you boil things down this case is pretty simple, did Scott Pattison kill Lisa Pattison?”

Defense lawyer Stan Campbell, however, said it’s not that simple.

During his turn to address jurors, Campbell said, “In the end what the prosecutor is going to leave you with is speculation. Your job is not to figure out what happened, but to determine if the evidence supports a guilty verdict.”

The defense also said in opening statements that Lisa Pattison was taking two kinds of prescription drugs at the time of her death, anti-depressants and weight reduction drugs.

The latter tested three times the proper levels in her system according to Campbell.

He suggested that might have contributed to her being careless while working out with the weights.

Also, there was testimony outside the presence of the jury, about Scott Pattison’s ongoing obsession with a woman he had an affair with around the time of Lisa Pattison's death.

That evidence, depending on how much of it gets past defense objections, could go a long way to establishing motive.

The Grant County Coroner ruled in September of last year that Lisa Pattison died of asphyxia due to neck compression, calling the death a homicide.

The trial is scheduled to last as long as three weeks.

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