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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Native Texan, In Germany

    TX - Sterling Poche, 38, quadriplegic, dies in fire, Sugar Land, 27 Jan 2003

    Trial underway for woman accused of killing quadriplegic husband

    ABC13 Eyewitness News
    (3/09/05 - HOUSTON) — There are allegations of a murder and a cover-up in the death of a quadriplegic man. And now his widow is on trial for his murder and prosecutors say it was a crime of greed.

    Sterling Poche was discovered dead in a house fire two years ago. Poche, a decorated Army veteran, was on leave in 1990 when a car accident left him a quadriplegic. To this day, his aunt, Rita Richards, wonders about his final day.
    It was January 27, 2003. Authorities believe the defenseless man was killed inside his Sugar Land home, which they say then was torched to cover up the murder.

    "A lot of people just used him," said Richards. "It was about the money."

    Poche received $6,500 per month from the US government as a result of his disability. It was money he used to hire a woman as his caregiver. She later became his wife, Tara Poche. Prosecutor Mike Elliot says she then spent all his money, tens of thousands of dollars.

    "You'll learn that the $6,500 plus a month was being squandered, was being taken out in cash withdrawals, wasted," Elliot told the Ft. Bend County jury Wednesday.

    Six months prior to the killing, a desperate and broke Tara Poche forged her husband's signature on his life insurance, making herself and her son beneficiaries upon his death. Prosecutors say they'll prove that Sterling Poche was killed before that fire, a blaze they say was set to cover up his murder.

    "No soot and no smoke in the lungs. What does this mean?" Elliot asked jurors. "Mr. Poche had been killed prior to the fire."

    Channel 13

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Native Texan, In Germany

    Jury hears dramatic 911 call from widow accused of killing husband

    ABC13 Eyewitness News
    (3/10/05 - HOUSTON) — It was a dramatic day in the trial of a woman accused of killing her quadriplegic husband. He was a decorated army vet and prosecutors say he was murdered by his wife in a crime of greed. The jury heard a very emotional, frantic call to 911 from the defendant.

    The 911 tape is state's exhibit 17. The call came in supposedly as the disabled victim was in bed and on fire.

    Dispatcher: "This is Fort Bend County 911."

    Tara Poche: "Yes, I need somebody here, emergency, please."

    Dispatcher: "What's going on?"

    Tara Poche: "The alarm and stuff is going off, and I can't get my husband out of bed. Please, somebody!"

    Dispatcher: "OK, what do you mean, you can't get him out of bed?"

    Tara Poche: "I can't get him in his wheelchair."

    Dispatcher: "Do you need an ambulance, or do you need police?"

    Tara Poche: "I need an ambulance."

    Poche said her Sugar Land house was on fire and her quadriplegic husband Sterling was still inside.

    Dispatcher: "Do not hang up!"

    Tara Poche: "Please come and help me."

    Dispatcher: "Ma'am, what's wrong there?"

    Tara Poche: "My husband is on fire. He can't…"

    Dispatcher: "I need you to calm down. I can't understand what you're saying."

    Tara Poche: "The candle fell… The candle fell in the bed."

    Dispatcher: "The candle fell in the bed?"

    Tara Poche: "Yes. He is in a wheelchair, and I can't get him out of the fire. Please, somebody help me!"

    Authorities accused Tara Poche of killing her husband and setting the fire in order to cover up his murder. Prosecutors say it's what's not on the 911 tape that's significant.

    "You hear no screaming from Sterling Poche, no hollers for help, no sounds from Sterling Poche whatsoever, that one would surely expect to hear in those type of circumstances," prosecutor Michael Elliott pointed out.

    Elliott says it's also telling that no where on the tape does Tara Poche ask for the fire department. She only asks for an ambulance, Elliott says, because Ms. Poche knew her husband was already dead.

    More here and photos of the accused and the victim

    Prayers for justice, Lanie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Native Texan, In Germany

    Widow on trial for murder testifies she didn't kill her husband

    ABC13 Eyewitness News
    (3/17/05 - RICHMOND, TX) — A widow accused of killing her quadriplegic husband and then trying to cover it up with a fire takes the stand in an effort to clear her name. It's the first time Tara Poche, accused of killing her military hero husband, had the chance to explain her side of what happened.

    In a very calm and collected manner, Tara Poche described the night that she says her husband died. She said she frantically tried to pull him from their burning home, but she just didn't have the physical strength to save him.

    Full story here

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Wow. I hadn't heard of this case at all until now. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the info, WasBlind! I'll keep following along.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    He could still speak!!!!!!!! If he's in a bed that's on fire (and he's alive) he'd be screaming his head off for someone to get him out of there. Moreover, what ever happened to the adrenaline???? She should have at least been able to drag him off the bed if not out of the room. Lastly, what the hell was a candle doing burning next to his bed in the first place?????

    Does anyone know what the autopsy said about how he died?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    From March 2005:


    A woman was given a 30-year prison term Tuesday for murdering her quadriplegic husband, whose badly charred body was found in a house fire she is accused of starting.

    When the Fort Bend County jurors told the judge they were deadlocked Monday, Tara Poche was given the choice of a mistrial or the option of having the jurors deliberate further.

    She lost her gamble when the jury went back to work and then returned with a guilty verdict Tuesday morning in the Jan. 27, 2003, death of her husband, Sterling Poche, 38.

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