Emma Raine, a thrice-widowed woman, was convicted for the death of her second husband on Friday, even as the mystery continues to surround the death of her first and third husbands. Raine, who has infamously been dubbed as the "Black Widow" by prosecutors and media alike, was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2006 death of Ernest Smith, reports Chron.
One of the most bizarre aspects of Raine's case is that prosecutors believe that she planned the murder of her husbands with the help of the men whom she would go on to marry later. According to them, Raine arranged the murder of Smith with the help of her third husband, James Raine, who was also killed under suspicious circumstances in 2011, and adoptive brother Alfred "Terry" Everette, who is serving a life sentence as the trigger man in Smith's death.
Authorities consider her a suspect in James Raine's death at the couple's Poplarville, Mississippi, home but have not found evidence to incriminate her.
"This is the woman who is destroying the lives of every man around her without a care," Assistant District Attorney Laura Rodrigue told the jury, reports the Washington Post.
Rodrigue systematically dismantled the defense's arguments which sought to portray Ernest Smith, the New Orleans murder victim, as a serial philanderer, and of James Raine as an opportunist who stole Emma's wounded heart and manipulated her.
"This woman is going to be at Costco shopping for caskets soon. That's how this is going. Same suit, same burial, same casket. Every man that has come in the path of Emma Raine is either dead or spending a life sentence in jail."Mississippi police investigator, Lt. Brad Garrett, testified in court that when Emma, who was on a business trip in Arkansas at the time of James Raine's death, was informed about it, she promptly got drunk and had sex, reports The Advocate.
The prosecutors said that Emma and James Raine arranged the death of her second husband, Ernest Smith, and roped in Everette to be the hit man. The murder was arranged to receive a $10,000 share of the $800,000 insurance money from Smith's death, something an anxious Everette admitted to his family members after police found the body of James Raine in 2011. He was convicted in 2014 and was sentenced to spend his life behind bars.
In one of the most dramatic moments in the courtroom, Everette was brought to the witness stand in shackles, but he defiantly refused to answer the questions being asked of him.
Emma Raine's fourth husband, John W. Golston, however, continues to pay for Emma Raine's legal fees and argues that she is innocent and is not responsible for any of the murders.
"I think this whole thing was fabricated," he told The Associated Press hours after the verdict was reached. "It was a setup. It wasn't right. She didn't have anyone killed and she didn't kill anyone."
But while Goldston might believe that Emma had no part to play in the deaths of Ernest Raine and James Raine, the defense's arguments showed no signs of convincing the jury as they unanimously reached a decision to convict Emma Raine of second-degree murder on Friday. The thrice-widowed woman now faces mandatory life imprisonment.
"They had her tried and convicted before she went to trial," Golston said, maintaining that his wife's honesty is what drove him towards her.
"Her honesty [is what drove me].. She seemed really nice and she was easy with her heart. I still don't see all this devious stuff that I've been seeing on the internet. I still don't believe that she could have done that."Prosecutors also said that they believe that Emma Raine is also responsible for the death of her other husbands but pointed that the police has not been able to recover enough evidence to take the matter to court.
[Photo by Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office/AP Images]