BANGOR (AP) – A Texas court has upheld the murder conviction of a veterinarian accused of killing her airman husband with drugs used to euthanize animals and then weighing his body down with car parts and cinder blocks before dumping it into a pond.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals on Friday rejected arguments that Air Force investigators violated Wendi Mae Davidson’s rights by placing an electronic tracking device on her car and that criminal evidence gathered through its use was inadmissible.

Davidson had pleaded no contest last October to charges arising from the Jan. 15, 2005, death of Staff Sgt. Michael Leslie Severance, 24, a Lee, Maine, native who was stationed at Dyess Air Force Base after having served in Iraq and Afghanistan. As part of a plea deal, she was sentenced to 25 years for murder and two concurrent 10-year terms for evidence tampering.

Davidson’s lawyer, Fred Brigman, argued that the evidence obtained through use of the tracking device should not have been admitted because the agents were investigating a missing-persons case and lacked authority to investigate the homicide.

The court, however, concluded that the agents were properly investigating Davidson’s claim that Severance, her husband of four months, had fled their San Angelo home to avoid serving overseas.

The agents, local police and Texas Rangers used the tracking device to follow Davidson on several trips to the pond. Coupled with their discovery that Davidson had been doing Internet searches on how bodies decompose in water, investigators found Severance’s corpse in the pond on March 6, 2005.

Brigman said he expects to seek a review of the case with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeal, which in Texas is the highest court of review for criminal matters.

“We are not by any means giving up. We are going to pursue it as far as we can,” Brigman said Friday.

Michael Severance’s father applauded the court’s decision and said he hoped the denial of the appeal would compel Davidson or Texas investigators to reveal more or dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding his son’s death.

“It’s the belief of an awful lot of people that she had help, and if she had help, then those people need to come to trial too,” Severance said. “Wendi is going to have to sit there and think now about everything that happened. She will have to rethink it.”

Information from: Bangor Daily News,

AP-ES-03-15-08 1032EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.