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Trial expected to begin soon in man's death

The murder trial of Helen Ansley is expected to get under way later this month in McDuffie County Superior Court in Thomson.

Mrs. Ansley is accused of shooting her husband, Fred Engus Ansley, to death Jan. 30, 2008, at the couple's home on White Oak Road on the outskirts of Thomson.

Mr. Ansley, who was 77, was shot once with a small caliber handgun, according to Maj. Ronnie Williamson of the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department. The victim was found lying on the living room floor when authorities arrived.

The fatal shooting is believed by authorities to have stemmed from an on-again, off-again argument between the couple that day. Authorities said both Mr. and Mrs. Ansley had been drinking alcoholic beverages.

Following the shooting and subsequent brief interview by local and state lawmen at her residence, Mrs. Ansley was taken by a deputy sheriff's patrol car to McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center. She later was charged with her husband's killing.

Since that time, Mrs. Ansley has been indicted by a county grand jury on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, court records reveal.

The 69-year-old Mrs. Ansley, who is being represented by Toombs Judicial Circuit Public Defender Harold Wallace, has maintained her innocence since the slaying. She has been free under $100,000 bail for the past several months.

The case will be prosecuted by District Attorney Dennis Sanders with assistance from Chief Assistant District Attorney Durwood Davis.

The trial is expected to last at least two to three days, court officials predict.

Web posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010

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