The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals again has upheld a murder conviction in a case where the victim's body was never found.
So-called “no body” cases are extremely rare.
The first murder conviction in Oklahoma in such a case was in 1983. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upheld that conviction in 1987.
In the latest opinion, the appeals court Tuesday upheld the conviction of a woman who fatally shot her husband at their Oklahoma City apartment.
An Oklahoma County jury last year found Exondia J. Salado guilty of first-degree murder. Salado, now 40, is serving a life term without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors put on evidence Exondia Salado shot her husband, Manny Salado, twice on Oct. 8 or 9, 2007, then watched him die. He had planned to divorce her. He was then 33.
After his disappearance, Oklahoma City police found his cellphone, passport, credit cards, checkbook, driver's license and military records.
Exondia Salado told two friends in October 2007 she shot her husband and cooked his body days later in the country, according to testimony at the trial. She said she stuffed his body at first into a foot locker.
She had searched the Internet on ways to kill someone and how to dispose of a human body, according to testimony from computer experts.
Google searches, for instance, were made on her computer on Aug. 28, 2007, on “handcuff,” “easy murder,” “murder methods,” “spousal murder,” “quick kill,” “strangulation,” “execution methods,” “human torture methods” and “human castration,” according to testimony.
Saved to her computer was the downloaded article, “Butchering the Human Carcass for Human Consumption,” according to testimony.
She did not testify on her own behalf at trial. Her defense attorneys suggested Manny Salado abandoned her and their young daughter to be with another woman in the Dominican Republic.
In her appeal, she raised eight issues. They included a claim the evidence against her was insufficient to support her conviction. The appeals court rejected all her complaints.
Her last complaint was about her sentence. The appeals court said, “Appellant murdered, dismembered and disposed of her husband. Her punishment is not excessive.”