David Vatter Guilty of Murdering Wife, Jury Recommends Life Sentence

Posted: Updated: Aug 09, 2017 11:14 PM
David Vatter David Vatter
Shelby Vatter Shelby Vatter

A verdict has determined Verona man David Vatter is guilty of first-degree murder of his wife. The Augusta County jury has recommended a life sentence plus a $100,000 fine for him.

Jury deliberations were underway Wednesday in  the murder case.

In closing statements, prosecutors told jurors, Vatter poisoned his wife, Shelby Vatter, with antifreeze for to collect a $70,000 life insurance policy, that in the end didn't exist. Shelby Vatter died three years ago at a hospital.

Commonwealth's attorney Tim Martin told jurors, "Motive is as old as time. It's money." A neighbor testified that Shelby Vatter told her she was afraid that her husband was "going to bump her off."

 "I think the case was, it was extremely difficult to try, but it was made easier by the great amount of effort by not only my assistant Alex Meador but also the great work that was done by the Sheriff's Office," Martin said.

"No matter the outcome we can't bring her back, but I feel like the jury did a really great job and the prosecutor's team did a really great job.  And, my mom was a funny, quirky person and we do miss her," Margaret Crutchfield, Shelby Vatter's daughter, said.

The defense refuted the neighbor's claims, saying "This is a good man, good husband. He was always there for her." A pastor testified they loved each other.

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