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Wife Acquitted In Dismembermemt Case

April 21, 1986

MIAMI (AP) _ A woman accused of killing and dismembering her husband 19 years ago has been acquitted of charges of first-degree murder.

Betty Evers, 55, had contended it was an accident when she shot her husband, Matt, eight times. The couple’s daughter testified it was a murder and that her mother enlisted her aid in chopping up and disposing of her father’s body.

Maria Sanchez, one of the jurors who acquitted Mrs. Evers on Friday after four hours of deliberations, said it was hard to believe a mother would ask her 15-year-old to help in such a grisly task.

The case was dubbed the ″torso murder″ after parts of Evers’ body began surfacing in Biscayne Bay in June 1967.

After the killing, Mrs. Evers blamed the death on a college student, her lover. A grand jury refused to return a murder indictment against him and the case remained dormant for 16 years, until Mrs. Evers confessed to accidentally shooting her husband and her daughter, Jennifer Cody, came forward to testify.

Mrs. Evers’ lawyer, Ellis Rubin, said Saturday that although his client told him she shot her husband with an antique automatic rifle she had intended to scare him with, he did not believe she killed Evers.

He also called for whoever disposed of Evers’ body to come forward. He said the person was alive, but declined to identify the person to give the person a chance to come forward.

But the information will be released sometime in the future in a book if the person remains silent, Rubin said.

″There will be another trial, and that will be the book,″ said Jack Kassewitz Jr., who plans to write ″Who Shot Matt Evers?″

Mrs. Evers could be tried only for first-degree murder because the statute of limitations had run out on lesser charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

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