Gay Couple: Give Us Spousal Privilege in Murder Trial

Geneva Case doesn't want to testify against Bobbie Jo Clary

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 13, 2013 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Geneva Case has been subpoenaed to testify against her partner, Bobbie Jo Clary, in a Kentucky murder trial starting at the end of this month. If Case and Clary were in a heterosexual marriage, Kentucky couldn't force Case to take the stand—but since they are a gay couple joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2004, they don't have spousal privilege. The couple has now asked the judge to grant them that same protection and block the subpoena, the Guardian reports; a decision is expected by the end of the month.

Clary, 37, faces the death penalty for allegedly beating George Murphy, 64, to death in Louisville in 2011 and then stealing his van. Clary has admitted to being with Murphy on the night of his death, but she says she used the hammer in self-defense because he sexually assaulted her. Case, 49, allegedly heard Clary confess to the murder and saw blood in Murphy's van, Reuters reports. Kentucky does not permit same-sex marriage, but Case's lawyer says the US Constitution's credit clause demands that if something is valid in one state, it must be valid in another.

  (Shutterstock)
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