The judge presiding over the case should have allowed the defense additional time to review DNA evidence, an appeals court found.
The Fifth District Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of Dorothy Singer, a Flagler County woman convicted in 2018 of murdering her husband, Charles "Butch" Singer, and buying him in her backyard.
The case has been remanded for a new trial.
Dorothy Singer had been arrested after her husband went missing, and she'd told authorities that she didn't know where he was and that he'd left with his wallet and phone. Detectives found that she was using his credit and EBT cards after his disappearance, and had been using his phone to impersonate him via text message.
They found him buried beneath a pile of brush in the yard underneath an overturned jon boat.
Dorothy Singer then told detectives that she'd shot her husband in a struggle out near a hog pen in the yard after he'd threatened to kill her.
The Fifth District Court of Appeals determined that the judge handling the case, Circuit Judge Dennis Craig, should have allowed the defense a continuance that would have given them more time to review the prosecution's DNA evidence concerning blood, apparently of Charles Singer, that was found in Singer's bedroom, on the headboard.
Without the continuance, the defense had 12 days rot review the evidence.
"Based on counsel’s limited experience with DNA cases and lack of familiarity with FDLE’s current procedures, combined with the complexity of the expert report at issue here, we conclude that twelve days was wholly inadequate to prepare for trial," the Fifth District Court of Appeals ruling states.
The blood evidence had contradicted Dorothy Singer's assertion that the shooting occurred outside.