Information from WYSH Radio
The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals last week upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a man who killed his mother-in-law with a hatchet while his infant daughter was in a nearby room nearly seven years ago.
Robert Fritts was convicted in the March 2007 death of Teresa Busler, who died from multiple blows to the head from a hatchet and had a white paint-like substance sprayed on her face. Fritts and his wife—the victim’s daughter—and their infant daughter had been living at the family’s Andersonville home at the time of the murder. The baby was found unharmed in another bedroom when Busler’s husband returned home and discovered the grisly crime scene.
The case was somewhat noteworthy as prosecutors introduced evidence that Fritts was part of a group of so-called “jugalos,” or fans of rap group Insane Clown Posse. Insane Clown Posse band members often wear white, clown-style face makeup and their record label—Psychopathic Records—uses a picture of a hatchet-wielding man as its logo. In his appeal, Fritts’ attorneys argued that it was “improper for prosecutors to submit evidence of his affiliation with the rap group or suggesting that the band or its followers were a gang.” He also argued there was not sufficient evidence to establish that Busler’s murder was premeditated. [Read more…]