Jeff West was found guilty of manslaughter Friday in the 2018 death of his online exhibitionist wife, Kat West, even after her mother testified in support of the defendant.
The Alabama jury deliberated less than five hours before handing down the verdict after Assistant District Attorney Daniel McBrayer asked the judge to allow them to consider the lesser charge instead of murder, ABC33/40 reported.
Nancy Martin, Kat West’s mother, was the only witness for the defense after the prosecution rested its case on testimony from the state pathologist who examined West’s body and Jeff West chose not to testify in his own defense.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Kat West, 42, was found dead outside her home in Calera, Alabama, on the morning of January 13, 2018, hours after a “date night” with her husband Jeff. Investigators determined that Kat, who was a stay-at-home mom who ran a private business selling adult photos of herself online, died due to injuries sustained when her killer hit her over the head with an absinthe bottle. In testimony on Thursday, prosecutors revealed that Jeff West’s fingerprints were found on the bottle.
Martin testified that her daughter, a former stripper, had a drinking problem and would often go outside barefoot while she was drinking, ABC33/40 said. West sometimes danced on top of an electric box and jumped on a trampoline in her backyard, she said. “She could not just have one drink,” Martin told the court.
The last time she saw her daughter alive, Martin said, was three days before she was found dead when she took her to a doctor’s appointment. She next saw Kat West at a funeral home with Jeff West, who she said broke down when he saw his wife.
“It was hard enough for me,” Martin said. “I couldn’t imagine how hard it was for him.”
Before Martin’s testimony, jurors viewed photographs from Kat West’s autopsy and heard testimony from state medical examiner Stephen Boudreau, who said West died from blunt force trauma to head, causing a two-inch gash on the left side. Boudreau dismissed defense assertions that West died from a fall, saying it was “pretty unlikely” for the 5 foot 2 inch woman to fall hard enough to cause the injury. Asked if the Lucid Absinthe bottle entered into evidence could cause the injury, Boudreau said, “It’s consistent with the injuries.”
The night before West was found dead, she and her husband were seen on liquor store surveillance video buying a bottle of absinthe.
Judge Bill Bostick revoked Jeff West’s bond after the verdict. His sentencing is scheduled for January 11, 2021.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode: