Alaskan woman acquitted of murdering husband who raped and tortured her for days

Lisa Donlon in court. Wife who shot her husband five times is acquitted as jury find her actions were self-defense.

Lisa Donlon walked free from court having been held and tried for the murder of her husband, Jason, in October 2010. The Palmer, Alaska, jury found she acted in self-defense having been tortured, kidnapped and raped for three days.

Donlon was charged with second degree murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. She shot her husband five times while he slept. If found guilty she could have been sentenced for a maximum of 99 years in prison.

She told the court that Jason had just raped her and had threatened to kill their three children. Donlon said she does not remember what she was thinking before she pulled the trigger.

The defense argued that the law allowed her to shoot her husband because he had been raping and torturing her for three days - abuse that their own children said they saw.

Zachary Renfro, Donlon’s defense attorney, during his final comments said “Anyone I think would have done what Lisa Donlon did to protect herself and to protect her children under those circumstances

“Lisa Donlon was kept in a 12 by 20 cabin against her will, unable to leave by the threat of death to her, death to her children.”

Donlon told the court “(He said) he would start taking my children out as they came home from school and that he would finish off with me.”

After her release on Tuesday Donlon told the local Channel 2 news she had prayed for a verdict in her favor. She said “I left it in God’s hands.”

On Wednesday night she spent time with her three sons, now aged 11, 13 and 15, eating pizza and watching movies. This is the first time she has seen them, outside of prison, in two years

Donlon said "We’re just going to hang out, watch some TV, eat some pizza and hug -- be a family.”

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