10/06/2034 12:17 AM ET

NEWS

Shonda McRae To Be Re-tried For Death Of Partner

Millie Karokovic
Deputy Justice Editor, Huntington Courier

CC BY-SA 3.0 - image changes released under same license Young African American Woman by Pacian~commonswiki | Writer image: CC0 1.0 Lady Louise by Michael D Beckwith | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
File photo: Shonda McRae in her early twenties.
Shonda McRae will receive a retrial in the stabbing death of her ex-husband, the Shreveport Times is reporting.

McRae, 38 was convicted in July for the murder of Reggie Townshill, 42, after a dispute in the home of McRae's half-sister.

Defense lawyer Allen LaFontain stated yesterday, "We are pleased that the court has recognized that witness tampering did occur in the case of Ms. McRae, and we look forward to a fair and partial [sic] trial."

The defendant was arrested in January when neighbors phoned police, after hearing screams coming from the house of Renee Swonford. McRae gave evidence that Townshill forced his way into the residence, and entered into a confrontation with her which quickly became physical.

Officers identified the murder weapon, a kitchen knife, in the body of the deceased.

During the trial, details of McRae's marriage emerged, painting a picture of a woman preyed upon by an abusive husband. The defense showed images of bruises on McRae's body, inflicted in the weeks prior to the death of Townshill. Evidence was shown demonstrating emotional and financial abuse.

The case sparked rallies all over the nation calling for an end to violence against women and tougher sentencing for men convicted of domestic violence, including emotional and verbal violence directed at women.

Femmes 50 was particularly outspoken in its call for mob punishment for men who direct violence against women. They explicitly called for justice at the hands of women.

In recent weeks, evidence has surfaced indicating that Ms. Swonford was threatened in the lead-up to the trial by members of Townshill's family. She has since stated through her own lawyer that she felt pressured to testify that the stabbing was not a case of self-defense on McRae's part.

A new trial date is yet to be set.
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