Anita Smithey, the woman who shot her husband, Robert Cline, to death after rough sex, will have her case examined on the next CBS 48 Hours. In this episode entitled “The Verdict,” CBS 48 Hours viewers will listen as the case is laid out from the couple’s promising future together, to their tumultuous marriage, and the events thereafter. Anita Smithey has always maintained that she killed her estranged husband in her Oveida, Florida, home that day six years ago because he was too rough during sex, and refused to get off of her once she said no. In the end, Smithey took out a gun and killed 41-year-old Robert Cline. She was charged in his death and found guilty by a Florida jury. Today, Anita Jane Smithey is serving a 40-year sentence in a Florida prison, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
CBS 48 Hours will allow Anita Smithey, her son, Drew, and Robert Cline’s children tell their side of the story. Robert’s daughter, Stephanie, believes that her stepmother killed her loving father in cold blood, and that her tears in the courtroom were all fake. Attorneys for Anita Smithey say the jury got it wrong, and that she — a rape victim — should never have had to defend herself to the cops, which ultimately led to her making a false confession and receiving a guilty verdict.
People who knew Anita Smithey and Robert Cline say they seemed like a normal, pleasant couple in the beginning. When they first met, Robert was a widower, and Anita was still mourning the end of her marriage. The unlikely pair had fun together, and friends say that Robert Cline made her happy.
That’s why no one understands how the relationship between this nice blended family ended in tragedy. Anita Smithey’s answer is that Robert Cline changed after the marriage, going from a nice, easy-going guy when they were dating to a verbally abusive monster who wanted to have violent sex.
The couple’s problems became so overwhelming that Anita Smithey and Robert Cline decided to separate, although they continued to meet up for sex about once a week. Anita Smithey’s defense attorneys say that’s what happened that fateful day. They engaged in sex after watching TV and having a few drinks. But, what made this day different from any other was that Robert Cline wanted more sex, and he wanted it even rougher. Anita claimed that she was done, and that she wasn’t interested in another escapade. Instead of leaving the home as requested, Anita says Robert Cline became belligerent and began violently raping her. To save herself, she shot him twice, and then called 911. Orlando Sentinel gives a more detailed account.
“He got to her house Monday about 11:30 p.m., they each had a shot of tequila then went to the bedroom for sex, according to her arrest report. When they were done, she took a shower, she told police, but when she walked out of the bathroom, Cline was still naked, and she asked him to leave. He did not, she told police. He grabbed her, pulled her onto the bed, got on top of her and accused her of having sex with another man, according to her arrest report. He then put what she believed was a knife to her throat, she told police. He either leaned away or got off her momentarily, she said, and she got her revolver from a bedside stand and placed it beneath a pillow, according to the report. He began to have sex with her again, she told police, would not stop when she asked so she pointed the gun at his chest.”
Emergency room nurses confirmed that she had been raped, so her story seemed straight to the point, and perhaps it could have been backed by Florida’s stand your ground law, except, the rest of Anita Smithey’s story didn’t add up. Not only did some of the other evidence contradict her story, but she ended up admitting to police that she stabbed herself, making it look as though Robert Cline had done it.
Watch tonight as Anita Smithey tries convince police of her innocence during the interrogation. CBS 48 Hours will include interviews with law enforcement officials who worked on the case and Anita Smithey’s best friend at 10/9 central. Let us know what you think. Did Anita Smithey deserve to go to jail for murder?
[Image via CBS 48 Hours/Facebook]