UPDATE: Burke Co. woman arrested, considered suspect in husband's death

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email


News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. -- New evidence back from the GBI crime lab has caused investigators to dig further into a death that happened back in May.

Neighbor Sherrell Roberts saw investigators at the scene recently.

"I was home, and then I seen a lot of police cars and sheriff's cars come down the road. My first thought was they were fixing to have a road block," she said.

But it wasn't a roadblock. It was actually an investigation into the death of her neighbor, Leonard Wilson.

The investigator for Burke County Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Dedric Smith, said the incident initially appeared to be a suicide. But as they continued their investigation, the results from the crime lab indicated that Wilson could not have shot himself.

Wilson's wife, Linda Diane Wilson, said that she found her husband unconscious in his bed back in May.

Investigators had explained before that he had been shot in the head, but crime lab results changed the course of the investigation.

"The investigation moved into another phase, turned into a in-depth investigation, which turned into a homicide investigation," Smith said.

Deputies took the victim's wife into custody. She is now charged with her husband's murder.

"This is not a typical thing that happens in Burke County. We are fortunate that we don't experience that many homicides," said.

And with the new evidence from the GBI crime lab, the case remains open.

As for the quiet country community, neighbors are shaken by the new developments.

"It's a big shock for something like that to happen out here," Roberts said. "I ain't never heard of nothing like that, not out here anyway."

Another neighbor, Porsha Whitfield, added, "I really didn't expect [the murder] to happen down the road. It's very scary for me and my kids staying here. For something to happen like this, I don't feel safe anymore."

Initial report:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. -- The death of a Burke County man in May has now been ruled as a homicide and his wife has been arrested in connection to the crime.

Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey says 59-year-old Diane Wilson was arrested on one count of malice murder Tuesday.

The death of 59-year-old Leonard Wilson was initially thought to be a suicide, but investigators have officially ruled it as a homicide. They say the results from testing evidence -- along with conflicting stories from his wife -- changed their minds.

No motive has been released at this time. The Sheriff's Office says they've never received calls about domestic violence between the couple.

His body was found the morning of May 17 at a home on Munnerlyn-Alexander Road between Waynesboro and Sardis.

Wilson is said to be in the Burke County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.

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