Judge sentences Southworth to life for wife's slaying

jhewlett@herald-leader.comFebruary 24, 2012 

Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell sentenced convicted murderer Donald Southworth to life in prison on Friday.

The judge followed the sentencing recommendation of the jury that found Southworth guilty in the June 2010 beating death of his wife, Umi, after a two-week trial in January.

Donald Southworth, 49, will be eligible for parole consideration in 20 years. His life sentence came a day after Bunnell denied him a new trial.

Umi Southworth, 44, was found severely beaten on June 9, 2010. She was found lying beneath a box spring in a brushy area behind her home on Meadowthorpe Avenue. She was pronounced dead the next day, after she was removed from life support. The case drew international attention because police did not realize for hours after they arrived that she was still breathing.

Before Bunnell sentenced Donald Southworth, Tucker Richardson, one of Southworth's attorneys, told the judge that life in prison is unreasonable and asked she sentence him to 20 years.

Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson asked Bunnell to honor the jury's recommendation.

After handing down the life sentence, Bunnell advised Southworth of his right to appeal.

Jennifer Hewlett: (859) 231-3308. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service