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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2007
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Woman convicted of murder found in Fayette County well

FAYETTE (AP) — Jurors convicted a woman in the murder of a romantic rival whose body was found at the bottom of a well in 2003, rejecting defense claims that there was no physical evidence linking her to the crime.

Heather Pinion was found guilty Wednesday in the death of Amy Files Fuller, whose remains were recovered from an abandoned well in Fayette County about four months after the killing, which occurred Aug. 21, 2003.

Her bail was raised to $500,000 and sentencing was set for March 1.

A state expert testified that there was no physical evidence linking Pinion to the slaying and said there were problems with the autopsy, performed by a state pathologist who has since become mentally incompetent.

But jurors accepted prosecutors' claims that Pinion's own statements to friends were enough to convict her in the killing. Prosecutors said she killed Fuller, with help from her boyfriend, after catching Fuller and the boyfriend engaged in sex.

"I think the evidence was there, and I think they did the right thing," District Attorney Chris McCool told The Tus-caloosa News. "(Pinion's) statements were so detailed and corroborated by the physical evidence, and that's what gave them the ability to render this verdict."

Authorities said Pinion and Christopher Pinion, who later became her husband, killed Fuller, who was living with them at the time. Testimony also indicated Fuller had stolen marijuana from Christopher Pinion.

Christopher Pinion is awaiting trial in the killing. Defense attorney Dale Lawrence blamed him for Fuller's murder.

"If it was just Amy and Heather, Amy Fuller would still be alive and Heather Pinion would not be on trial today," Lawrence said.

The claim that Chris Pinion killed Fuller doesn't absolve Heather Pinion of responsibility, McCool said.

"I agree that Chris Pinion is guilty," McCool said. "That's why we indicted him. But he's not the only one who is guilty."

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Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, http://www.tuscaloosanews.com

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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