Jurors have seen the wheelchair belonging to a disabled university lecturer whose husband from Aberdeenshire is accused of shooting her dead in America.
The Mississippi (MS) prosecutor’s case against Wayne Fraser will continue on Thursday when a jury at Lowndes County Court House will carry on hearing testimony.
Scott Colom, District Attorney (DA) for the state’s 16th Circuit Court, questioned a witness from the medical examiner’s office who took to the stand on Wednesday.
Fraser – a 47-year-old from Mintlaw – was seen taking notes as his deceased spouse’s wheelchair was shown to the courtroom.
Natalie, 55, was discovered fatally wounded by sheriff’s deputies who responded to a welfare concern at an apartment on Cedar Street in the town of Caledonia on December 30 2021.
The stricken woman, who had travelled from her home in Texas (TX) to visit her husband in the southern state where he worked part-time, posted on Facebook just the day before that she was having “dinner with my love”.
Upon discovery of Natalie’s body and a 9mm handgun at the scene, Fraser was arrested and later charged with first-degree murder.
He denies that he did “feloniously, wilfully and unlawfully with deliberate design to effect the death of Natalie Fraser, a human being, kill Natalie Fraser, without the authority of law and not in necessary self-defence”.
The tragic couple married in 2014.
Natalie had been working as a senior instructor in the Department of English and Modern Languages at Angelo State University, TX.
Her partner was a foreman for an industrial painting and coating firm in Hamilton, MS.
Fraser, who moved from the north-east of Scotland for a new life in the US, previously attended Mintlaw Academy and was also a student at Banff and Buchan College.
Evidence continues to be heard in Wayne Fraser trial
The murder trial began on Monday after the accused had been incarcerated for around 20 months as he waited for legal proceedings to get underway.
He is being represented by a public defender – the equivalent of receiving Legal Aid – because Fraser has been declared unable to pay for his own defence attorney.
Local television news station WCBI has been broadcasting scenes from inside Lowndes County Court House, located in the southern city of Columbus.
On Tuesday, after the process of selecting a jury had been completed, a 911 emergency call operator was the first to give evidence.
Lowndes County 911 Directory public servant Cindy Lawrence was questioned on the stand.
If the jury finds Fraser guilty of murder in the first degree, he will be sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
However, he may avoid life imprisonment if jurors convict him for less serious kinds of homicide offences – although such crimes are punishable by 20 to 40 years in jail.
A court clerk told The Press and Journal: “There should be a verdict this week. It’s very rare that our trials go into two weeks.”
The official added that if Fraser is found guilty the judge would sentence the Scot “that day or the next”.
The murder trial, presided over by Judge James T Kitchens Jr, continues.
For all the latest court cases in Aberdeen as well as crime and breaking incidents, join our Facebook group.