Denton Woman Appeals 50-Year Prison Sentence, Jury Gives Her 6 Life Terms

L.P. Phillips
February 01, 2019 - 12:34 pm
Jury Box

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DENTON (1080 KRLD) - Anyone convicted of a crime has a right to appeal, but that isn't always a good idea. 

Teresa Lathem of Denton was convicted of solicitation of capital murder in 2015 and sentenced to 50-years in prison. 

Prosecutors said Lathem was interested in a man and believed the man's family was against her. They say she tried to hire a Vietnam veteran to kill those relatives. 

At the time of the first trial Latham claimed her defense attorney was ineffective and asked the judge to allow Lathem to represent herself. The judge refused and the trial went on. Lathem was found guilty the jury reached the 50-year sentence.

After the conviction, Latham appealed on grounds that she wasn't allowed to act as her own attorney. An appeals court agreed and Lathem got a new trial. 

That may have been a big mistake.

This week a second jury heard the same evidence and found Lathem guilty of the same charges. But this time, the jury sentenced Lathem to six life prison terms.

"It's one of those, be careful for what you wish for situations." said Paul Heimke, Denton County Assistant District Attorney. "You are not bound in any way by what happened in the first trial. So we appreciated the jury in the first trial and we definitely appreciated this jury."

The Vietnam veteran that Lathem tried to hire reported the matter to police and acted as an undercover informant. He recorded Lathem's murder for hire offer.