Woman convicted of murder wants new trial

GULFPORT — A former Diamondhead resident sentenced to life in prison for killing her husband by dousing him with hot cooking oil has filed a motion for a new trial.

Edna Mae Sanders, 48, was convicted of murder in April 2008. Her 53-year-old husband, Sherman Sanders, died a week after his was burned on July 28, 2006.

A ruling on the new trial is pending before Circuit Court Judge Larry Bourgeois.

Sanders, who turned down an offer to plead guilty to manslaughter before her trial, claims the jury was not allowed to hear that her husband had a history of violence and had sexually assaulted his stepdaughter a night earlier.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Fisher said there are no records of Edna Sanders reporting prior allegations of abuse.

“We believe she received a fair trial,” Fisher told The Sun Herald.

Police said Sanders heated about two quarts of household cooking oil on the stove and allowed the grease to reach a simmer while her husband slipped into a sound sleep. Then, she poured the smoldering grease over her husband’s head, face, chest and arms while he slept.

The Associated Press