Jury to start weighing Eslin case

March 14, 2004

An Anne Arundel County jury will begin deliberating tomorrow whether Terry Harriet Pierce Eslin was temporarily insane when she killed her husband last January or is guilty of murder or manslaughter.

"Was she cleaning up or covering up?" Deputy State's Attorney William D. Roessler asked jurors Friday in closing arguments. He described a pristine crime scene that included the body of Richard P. Eslin, shot in the head and bludgeoned, rolled in bedsheets and wrapped in a blue tarpaulin secured with bungee cords. No shell casings from the rifle used to kill him were found, and the sink had been scrubbed with bleach.

The defense maintains that Eslin, 59, suffered from a bipolar disorder and battered spouse syndrome, and that she snapped because her husband gave her a few days to get out of their Shady Side home after he learned of her five-figure credit card debt.

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