This story initially aired on Jan, 28. It was upgraded on Nov. 18.
Simply an hour-and-a-half after Seth Perraultstated his 44-year-old partner, Amanda, shot herself right in front of him, he was having a hard time to inform his story.
SETH PERRAULT (to Sheriff Howard Sills): I’m in shock. My partner of 8 years, that I enjoy more than anything in this world …
SETH PERRAULT (to Sheriff Sills): I do not understand even where to begin, sir. … I’ve lost whatever in my life.
Perrault, 44, then a policeman for the City of Eatonton, Georgia, informed Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills that his better half Amanda had actually shot herself in the head.
Anne-Marie Green|”48 Hours” factor: What did he state taken place?
Constable Howard Sills: He stated that they remained in bed and … they were arguin’ … And then suddenly, she simply produced the weapon outta thin air and performed herself.
SETH PERRAULT (to Sheriff Sills): I simply sat there and saw my other half perform herself.
Constable Howard Sills: In all my years of questioning anyone for … suicide … I have actually never ever heard anyone utilize the term “carried out.”
Angie Johnson: I understood she had not. I understood that he was lying.
From the extremely starting, Angie and Alesha Johnson state they had concerns about what took place to their sis Amanda.
Alesha Johnson: We understood much better. We understood our sis. … Amanda enjoyed life.
Angie Johnson: She would not put us through this.
About 8 years previously, in the fall of 2011, a just recently separated Amanda satisfied Seth Perrault online.
Alesha Johnson: I remember her being type of thrilled about it. … he treated her in a different way from a few of the previous relationships she had actually remained in where, you understand, she wasn’t appreciated.
Seth, fighting cancer and jobless at the time, appeared to succumb to Amanda quickly and hard.
Angie Johnson: And they relocated relatively fast. Like, he had her relocation in within 6 months of them conference.
Seth was living an hour away, with his mom, who was taking care of him. Angie states Amanda would rapidly take over the function of Seth’s caretaker.
Angie Johnson: When she vacated there … he didn’t desire her to work.
They state Seth’s moms and dads were paying all of the couple’s expenses– and assisting with expenditures for Seth’s child from a previous relationship.
Anne Marie Green: So, Seth was essentially based on his household?
Alesha and Angie Johnson: Very much.
And Amanda depended on Seth.
Angie Johnson: For the longest time, like, he would not let her have any type of … phone, mobile phone or anything like that … It would be his phone or a landline.
Constable Howard Sills: She didn’t even have a vehicle to drive. He monitored her continuously.
As time went on, Alesha and Angie state they saw less and less of their sis.
Angie Johnson: He kept us from bein’ able to see her.
Alesha Johnson: She didn’t pertain to, like, any of our Christmas occasions, or like, any of our occasions due to the fact that she needed to host for his household and cook for all of them.
Amanda dealt with Seth for 5 years. On June 23, 2017, the couple shocked everybody when they silently went to the regional court house and got wed. Angie and Alesha think the only factor Seth wed their sis was to assist him get custody of his child.
Alesha Johnson: That’s why I seem like he asked her to wed him.
Seth’s custody fight had actually been going on for practically precisely a year at that point.
Anne-Marie Green: Do you believe Seth weding Amanda assisted him acquire custody?
Justin Kenney: Absolutely.
Seth’s lawyer, Justin Kenney is Seth’s lawyer.
Justin Kenney: If Amanda was going to exist in his child’s life they needed to get wed … I believe that was among the critical problems for him to acquire custody.
Kenney states Seth did enjoy Amanda– and his child– and was simply attempting to do what he believed was best for everybody.
Justin Kenney: This was a guy that doted on his child. He was a married man. … he would dote on his other half. … I simply believed he was a– a stand-up person.
A couple of months after Amanda and Seth were wed, he was approved custody of his child. A little over year later on he was worked with by the Eatonton Police Department, and his dad purchased him a home near Lake Oconee.
Alesha Johnson: She enjoyed their brand-new home.
Anne-Marie Green: This must have been whatever she wished for.
Alesha Johnson: Yeah, it was. You understand, other than for the relationship.
Alesha and Angie state they didn’t understand simply how bad things had actually gotten, however were hearing a growing number of stories of combating, sustained by alcohol.
Justin Kenney: I’ve heard stories and interviews that, you understand, when they were sober, they were caring towards one another. It’s when alcohol came into the mix … that’s when it ended up being harmful.
A little over a year after signing up with the police, Seth dropped some stairs at the couple’s home and needed to go on medical leave. Now, in addition to the alcohol, there were pain killer, and the sis state the combating appeared to be intensifying.
Angie Johnson: You might hear it, like, on telephone call.
Alesha Johnson: His tone and temperament around her.
Angie Johnson: I would ask. … “do you desire me to call 911? Can I call 911?”
Alesha Johnson: She would inform you, “No, no, do not call.” You understand, “We’ve simply been drinkin’. We’ll be– whatever’ll be okay later.” … Maybe she understood her circumstance would end up being even worse, you understand.
Things did get even worse. On Jan. 28, 2020, simply days before her death, Amanda called 911.
911 DISPATCHER: Putnam County Sheriff’s Office will you hold please?
AMANDA PERRAULT: Yes, thank you.
Angie Johnson: She had actually barricaded herself in … a back bed room.
AMANDA PERRAULT (911 call): It’s my hubby, and he’s putting his hands on me.
Angie Johnson: She wound up havin’ to run next door.
AMANDA PERRAULT (911 call): He locked me out of the home and I’m simply attempting to get my things out of the home, please.
911 DISPATCHER: She’s at the next-door neighbor’s home today.
Another constable’s dispatcher looked out.
2ND 911 DISPATCHER: And she stated her spouse is … an officer with the Eatonton Police Department.
That 2nd dispatcher stated he understood Seth Perrault and stated he had a track record.
2ND 911 DISPATCHER: I ain’t expected to understand this … however he’s run out deal with his back and obviously, he’s over their whoopin’ up on her ass.
Seth made regional headings when he was apprehended on charges of easy battery and household violence.
Angie Johnson: She … informed me … would I come get her the next mornin’? And I informed her yes, to ensure to load whatever, have it prepared.
Rather, Amanda chose to go to Seth’s bond hearing. When the judge consented to launch Seth on bail, he asked Amanda if she desired a “keep away” order included. Amanda stated no, and after that let Seth get home.
Alesha Johnson: ‘Cause she was frightened. … She understood he seethed, she understood that it was … public that he had actually been jailed. “He’s a policeman … You understand, I need to bring him home and make this right.”
Alesha Johnson: I spoke with her the day he went out. And … I stated, “How are things?” And she stated, “He’s bein’ uncommonly good.”
Alesha states she questioned Seth’s brand-new mindset and felt that below he needs to be seething– understanding that if he was founded guilty on abuse charges, he remained in threat of losing custody of his child and his task.
Alesha Johnson: He understood it was gon na humiliate his household … And he had actually currently put himself up here on this pedestal like he was king. And after that to be embarrassed in front of individuals … I believe it made him extremely upset.
Alesha states Amanda was horrified and trying to find an escape.
Alesha Johnson: We were all on– a chain message … and we were tellin’ her, “Just go out … divorce him, inform his dad that you do not desire anything however a car.” … And … she stated, “I’m not attempting to get eliminated.”
Simply 5 days later on, Amanda was dead.
Constable Howard Sills states that from the extremely start of his examination into the death of Amanda Perrault, he wasn’t purchasing her other half’s story.
Constable Howard Sills: I understood somethin’ was incorrect the day I strolled in your home.
For beginners, the position of Amanda’s body– illustrated listed below in a “48 Hours” animation based upon the criminal offense scene pictures– left Sills particular that Amanda might not have actually shot herself.
Of issue to Sills was the method the Smith and Wesson.380, which belonged to Seth, was discovered lying next to Amanda’s body with its publication ejected
Constable Howard Sills: The publication … It was … near her best side, and the handgun itself, was method down here listed below her left foot.
What made the ejected publication much more curious states Sills, is the reality that there was a bullet discovered inside the weapon’s chamber.
Constable Howard Sills: It’s a semiautomatic weapon. When it fires … the slide comes back. The invested cartridge casin’ is ejected, and it gets the next round.
Since of that bullet in the chamber, the publication needed to be ejected after the weapon was fired, states Sills. And, unless the weapon is malfunctioning, the only method to eject the publication is to press the button.
Constable Howard Sills: Now, do not do this in your home. When you do this (puts weapon to his best temple) how you gon na get your hand– your 2nd hand around there to do it (reaches around with his left hand to attempt and reach the button)?
There was likewise no blood on Amanda’s hands or the long sleeves of her t-shirt. And something else captured the constable’s eye.
Constable Howard Sills: In the middle of the closet on the flooring was a moist green towel … Somebody had actually dried off with it, no doubt about that.
Among the very first deputies on the scene stated Seth smelled like hair shampoo. Disconcerting, the bed room was cluttered with 20 mini bottles of Fireball Whiskey– all of them empty. Sills states he didn’t have the workforce to process the scene, so he hired representatives from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. While they gathered physical proof and Amanda’s body was transferred to the state medical inspector, Sills concentrated on Seth.
Constable Howard Sills (in his workplace): He can be found in and sat right in this blue, leather chair.
Seth spoke with Sills in his workplace for over an hour without a lawyer present.
SETH PERRAULT: I’m not gon na lie to you. I’m– I have no factor to lie to you.
Constable Howard Sills: I wished to know what had actually taken place that day. … how did the publication get outta the weapon? … How did the weapon get where it was?
CONSTABLE SILLS: Did you touch that weapon today?
SETH PERRAULT: The.380?
CONSTABLE SILLS: Yeah.
SETH PERRAULT: I indicate, it’s been, like– no.
CONSTABLE SILLS: Today?
SETH PERRAULT: No, sir.
Anne-Marie Green: How does her body enter that position–
Constable Howard Sills: He … No response.
Anne-Marie Green:– due to the fact that he never ever touched her?
Constable Howard Sills: No, never ever touched her.
Sills states that didn’t make any sense, so he kept pushing. And after that, Seth altered his story.
CONSTABLE SILLS: Did you touch her?
SETH PERRAULT: Maybe I d– I do not understand… I most likely did touch her. I was most likely huggin’ the s *** out of her. And I was most likely like, I’m so– like, “honey. What the hell’s going on?”
Constable Sills states Seth attempted numerous times to deflect concerns with his badge.
SETH PERRAULT: I take pride in being an excellent law enforcement representative.
Constable Howard Sills: I can’t keep in mindthe number of times he looked me in the eye and stated, “I’m an excellent law enforcement officer.”
Amanda, he stated, likewise understood what an excellent police officer he was, and how attack charges would destroy both their lives.
SETH PERRAULT: She h– disliked to see my track record damaged on the news ’cause she understands what a great law enforcement officer I am. … And she was so concerned I ‘d lose my child. … She wished to boil down here and inform you that it was a lie.
Seth firmly insisted that Amanda had actually lied the day she called 911 andfelt so bad about it that she wished to admit to perjury.
Constable Howard Sills: He stated that she had actually composed something that she meant to give me, recanting what she had actually informed the deputies. And he informed me where it was.
A handwritten letter was discovered in Amanda’s nightstand. It checks out in part:
“I Amanda Perrault want to withdraw my declaration … My other half never ever put his hands on me ever. I feel awful for the embarrassment I have actually put my hubby and my household through. I want to take any penalty I might be worthy of for what I have actually done.”
Constable Howard Sills(reveals Green the letter): I do not reject she composed it. Look at the penmanship. There’s not the tiniest mistake of any kind.
Constable Howard Sills: What we’ve got here is an unskilled law enforcement officer determining what’s to be composed.
Like Sills, Amanda’s sis are specific Seth lagged the letter.
Angie Johnson: She composed it, however she was coached. … I believe what he was informing her– “I require you to compose this to get me out of difficulty.”
Seth informed Sills he was not about to let Amanda admit to lying to authorities.
SETH PERRAULT (to Sheriff Sills): I understood if she boiled down here, it was an incorrect declaration and a felony. I understood it.
According to Seth, Amanda could not take the regret any longer, so she put his weapon to her head and pulled the trigger.
SETH PERRAULT (to Sheriff Sills): She took a look at me and stated, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I put you through this.” Boom. … I could not even state a word, Sheriff. It was done.
Seth attempted to encourage Sills that Amanda eliminated herself, since her call to 911 had actually possibly destroyed their lives. The constable didn’t see that as a factor for suicide; rather, he saw an intention for murder. Thinking that Amanda would never ever take her own life, this made sense to her sis.
Alesha Johnson: He needed to make it appear like she took her life so that he might be cleared of all this misbehavior.
Constable Sills states he was encouraged that Seth Perrault was in some way associated with his better half’s death, however that day, he felt he didn’t have enough to jail him.
Constable Howard Sills: I wished to see if I might get some more proof. And I did.
Among the hints that persuaded Sheriff Sills that Seth Perrault wasn’t informing the reality were his actions simply 20 minutes before he reported his partner Amanda was dead. That’s when Sills’ deputy, Terrell Abernathy, reached Seth’s front door, attempting to provide documents on an approaching case.
Deputy Terrell Abernathy:They had among those video doorbell things, and I sounded that.
Deputy Terrell Abernathy: I anticipated him to respond to the door, and I anticipated him to hand him his copy of the subpoena … I suggest, you’re a cop. You understand how this works.
Abernathy states he might inform somebody was home.
Anne-Marie Green: What ‘d you hear?
Deputy Terrell Abernathy: I heard steps or steps, heavy ones. … I’m revealing myself, who I am, what it is. I even turned my back to the door. … I do not care if you’re in your underclothing. Simply address the door and take the paper.
He waited 7 minutes and after that left– subpoena still in hand.
DA Wright Barksdale: In my heart, I think that Amanda Perrault had actually currently been shot when Abernathy sounded the doorbell. … I believe he was worried that someone heard the gunshot, which’s why he didn’t go to the door.
District Attorney Wright Barksdale thinks Seth was attempting to find out what to do next.
DA Wright Barksdale: Think about this: he’s in the procedure of staging this scene, and he hears the doorbell ring. Can you picture what was goin’ through his mind?
Lawyer Justin Kenney states that is not what occurred.
Anne-Marie Green: Why didn’t they concern the door when Deputy Abernathy called that bell?
Justin Kenney: Fear of what he’s bringing. … Seth hesitates that … his ex will serve him with custody adjustment documentation.
Anne-Marie Green: What does Seth state taken place after that?
Justin Kenney: So, I think that there is a heated conversation that occurs. … He puts down … (to) diffuse the scenario, he sets to rest. … He woke up to Amanda mumbling something, whispering something … and– her shooting and shooting herself.
Kenney mentions that Amanda was hindered by alcohol– 3 times the legal limitation, when evaluated by the medical inspector. That and the intensifying stress in her marital relationship, ended up being a lethal mix.
Justin Kenney: The good home … the child … the monetary security, all of this was collapsing around Amanda. And after that you add a. 23 blood alcohol material … She believed that was the only method to– to repair it, to– to end it.
Anne-Marie Green: She was actually intoxicated.
Constable Howard Sills: Absolutely.
Anne-Marie Green: Maybe she inadvertently shot the weapon.
Constable Howard Sills: How ‘d she inadvertently get the publication out of it? … How ‘d she inadvertently get impersonated she was?
Sills was likewise really struggling due to the fact that Seth didn’t call 911 when his partner supposedly shot herself. Rather, Perrault called his employer, the Eatonton chief of cops, on his cellular phone. “48 Hours” made numerous not successful efforts to reach the previous chief of cops for remark.
Constable Howard Sills: Obviously, we’re not gon na have a recording of that. And they have at least a 20-minute discussion before I’m called.
Hoping the Perrault’s next-door neighbors had actually heard something the day Amanda passed away, Sills had Deputy Abernathy return to the Perrault home to question them. What he discovered made Sills much more suspicious about Seth’s participation in Amanda’s death.
Constable Howard Sills: We learnt that there had actually been a real pattern of domestic violence for several years and years.
Next-door neighbors stated the couple might be heard battling almost every day. And in their eyes, Seth was often the assailant.
DA Wright Barksdale: They informed stories about a physical run-in in between Seth and Amanda where he really got her by the back of the hair and pulled her down and pressed her into the driveway.
One next-door neighbor informed Abernathy that he would frequently wait in case things got actually violent.
Deputy Terrell Abernathy: He spoke about how that sometimes he would simply stand in the backyard and simply wait to see if he required to call 911, since it was so violent there.
Another next-door neighbor stated that Amanda had actually two times made this chilling remark:
Deputy Terrell Abernathy: That if she were to end up dead … that Perrault is the one that did it, and … she made this next-door neighbor pledge … that she would firmly insist that her death be examined as a murder.
Anne-Marie Green:Did anybody call the authorities?
Constable Howard Sills: No.
Anne-Marie Green: Why not?
Constable Howard Sills: Well, among the responses was that “Well, we were terrified to call since he was the authorities.”
Alesha Johnson: It’s painful– it’s painful. … and this is why I wished to do this program, is to make certain that individuals understand to speak out.
The day Amanda passed away, the next-door neighbors stated they didn’t hear a thing. The only witness to what took place was Seth Perrault– and Sills made certain he could not trust him after the interview in his workplace.
Constable Howard Sills: According to Seth … they take the kid to school, they return home, and they go no place at all besides down the street to the corner store. Well, that didn’t take place. He lied.
Sills states the evidence was on monitoring electronic camera video of the couple discovered 12 miles away– at a drive-through alcohol shop, where Amanda purchased those 20 mini bottles of Fireball bourbon.
Constable Howard Sills (outside the alcohol shop): She increases to this drive-in window.There’s the video camera that captures the truck [points to the camera]
All at once, Seth was caught on a cam next door, in a corner store.
Da Wright Barksdale(in the corner store with Green): You see him stroll and he really boils down, I think this aisle and he strolls, and he gets something to consume.
The video, states Barksdale, would end up being an essential piece of proof not since of what was acquired, however since of what Seth was using: a Pink Floyd T-shirt and black athletic trousers. Almost 4 hours later on, when constable’s deputies came to the Perrault home to examine Amanda’s death, Seth was using something else.
Constable Howard Sills: When we arrive he is worn shorts and a dark T-shirt.
And the clothes Seth was using in the video?
DA Wright Barksdale: We discovered those … in the cleaning device.
The clothes was dry and had actually plainly not been washed, however there was that deputy who had actually reported that Seth smelled newly cleaned, and there was that wet towel that was discovered on the closet flooring.
Justin Kenney: Seth states … he took a bath.
Seth’s lawyer Justin Kenney states Seth did clean up eventually.
Justin Kenney: If you take a bath– you’re gon na alter clothing. … there was no proof that the cleaning device had really been switched on. … it appeared like the cleaning maker … was being utilized as a– a clothes hamper.
Just a small speck of blood was discovered on the behind of Perrault’s trousers, and a trace quantity of weapon powder residue was discovered on his left hand when evaluated.
Justin Kenney: They did it 3 hours later on after … prospective contamination from being … at the police headquarters.
Amanda’s hands were never ever checked– and the weapon was never ever cleaned for finger prints. Sills felt he now had sufficient proof to make an arrest. Simply 2 days after Amanda’s shooting, now former Eatonton Police officer Seth Perrault, was nabbed.
Alesha Johnson: Sheriff Sills called me and let me understand that they were going to detain him for her murder. And I … My entire household w– simply was so relieved and– and pleased that– that–
Angie Johnson: She was gettin’ justice.
Alesha Johnson: Yes.
Before a grand jury might hear the proof and choose if there was enough to go to trial, COVID shut down the courts. Seth would being in prison for almost 9 months till that autopsy report was launched by the medical inspector, stating Amanda’s death a suicide. Her choice was based mostly on the absence of gunpowder around the injury, which indicated the weapon would needed to have actually been right up versus Amanda’s head when it went off– and there were no indications of a battle.
Justin Kenney: Nobody is simply going to permit someone– to put a weapon to their head and shoot without setting up some sort of battle.
Constable Howard Sills: I was amazed. … First thing, I simply called the DA. I stated, “You’re not– (laughs) you’re not gon na think this.”
Anne-Marie Green: Did you believe possibly you slipped up?
DA Wright Barksdale: Absolutely not. … We’re gon na take every bit of the proof and attempt to piece this thing together.
Justin Kenney did believe the prosecution was making an error, and that the autopsy report was all the proof required to safeguard Seth Perrault.
Justin Kenney: I indicate, it was– it appeared quite open-and-shut to me.
THE TRIAL OF SETH PERRAULT
It was Nov. 3, 2020, and Seth Perrault, still unindicted, had actually remained in prison for almost 9 months. When COVID constraints lastly relieved, a grand jury was set to choose if there sufficed proof versus him, to go to trial.
Constable Howard Sills: And you understand the very first thing I installed for that grand jury to see?
Anne-Marie Green: The criminal activity scene images.
Constable Howard Sills: No, ma’am. … The autopsy report that stated, “Suicide.” … “Ladies and gentlemen … The state criminal activity laboratory medical inspector states this was a suicide. Now, I’m gon na reveal you the proof I discovered.”
Members of the grand jury did see the criminal activity scene pictures and heard proof of domestic abuse and rapidly chose that, regardless of the medical inspector’s report, Seth Perrault must deal with a jury of his peers.
Anne Marie Green: What were the charges?
DA Wright Barksdale: Malice murder … felony murder … and intensified attack.
Perrault pleaded innocent to all charges. At his trial in February 2022, he chose not to affirm, leaving defense lawyer Justin Kenney to inform his story.
Justin Kenney: I believe there was a total lack of enough proof that Seth eliminated his partner.
The prosecution revealed a jury of 8 females and 4 males the criminal offense scene images, consisting of the method Amanda’s body and the weapon were discovered. They likewise heard statement from that constable’s deputy who believed Seth smelled newly showered. They enjoyed the video of Deputy Abernathy at the Perrault’s front door and listened to all 60 minutes of Perrault’s interview with Sheriff Sills.
SETH PERRAULT (to Sheriff Sills): I do not understand how this occurred.
District Attorney Barksdale states that a few of the most engaging proof was discovered on Amanda’s cellular phone. Like this video she taped 7 months prior to her death.
SETH PERRAULT: It’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate since you understand what, I wed you and I’m– I’m not gon na– I’m– guy, you’re done.
AMANDA PERRAULT: I’m done?
Amanda’s sis were seeing the video for the very first time.
Alesha Johnson: It made me mad.
AMANDA PERRAULT: I wan na have an excellent weekend.
SETH PERRAULT: You burned that up when you attempted to put that phone in my face.
AMANDA PERRAULT: What phone in your face?
SETH PERRAULT: Oh, right there. Oh, you’re videotaping.
AMANDA: Yeah, since you’re being a d *** and I’m gon na reveal you tomorrow.
SETH PERRAULT (screaming): Oh, so you didn’t video all the s *** when you strike me and smacked me–
AMANDA PERRAULT (shouting): Hit you? You f ****** choked me 8 f ****** times!
Justin Kenney: The video … was troublesome. … But it– it does not reveal whatever that took location … Seth likewise specifies that she had actually acted strongly towards him.
There was no proof of Seth having actually been mistreated presented at trial. Amanda’s phone likewise included pictures of her with swellings, a black eye and a split lip along with texts like this one to her sis: “Seth simply choked me till I almost lost consciousness, damaged my lip large open.”
Seth’s then-8-year-old-daughter was spoken with by a forensic kid psychologist. Keep in mind, she was a witness to what occurred the day Amanda called 911.
PERRAULT’S DAUGHTER: I was frightened that, um, among them may get harmed.
PERRAULT’S DAUGHTER: They were cussing at each other. … Miss Amanda was cussing too, however she didn’t touch daddy at all. … Daddy was, like, touching her nose like this (shows by indicating her nose). Like, “Get out of my home today.”
The jury was revealed the majority of the videotaped interview.
PERRAULT’S DAUGHTER: She was on the flooring like this (gets on her knees) … tryin’ to get her things. … then, suddenly, Daddy simply began getting her arms. … and Daddy simply pressed her over the laundry table. And after that, um– unlocked … and pressed her out the door.
While her daddy invested the night in prison, she stated Amanda pled her not to inform anybody what occurred, or there might be fatal effects
DA Wright Barksdale: Amanda informs her that night, “If your daddy loses custody of you, he’s going to shoot me dead.”
PERRAULT’S DAUGHTER: “Your daddy would come shoot me dead.”
When Barksdale called the now-10-year-old to the witness stand, she stated she could not remember what took place that day, or what she stated in the interview.
Alesha Johnson: She, I believe, felt actually torn. I seen her take a look at her father a couple times … And I seemed like … she was more cautious about what she was stating– like someone had actually been training her.
In cross evaluation, the defense asked if anybody had actually coached her on what to state. She stated no. Justin Kenney states he thinks another prosecution witness might have been coached: a jailhouse informant called Jack Faulk, who had actually shared a dormitory block with Seth Perrault.
Justin Kenney: Jack Faulk has a criminal history, I think 28 pages long. … many contacts with the authorities, and he had every reward to lie, comprise a story.
Faulk had actually stepped forward 3 weeks before the medical inspector’s report was launched, declaring he had important info about Amanda’s death.
Constable Howard Sills: He understood things that just Seth Perrault might have informed him.
In 2 hand-written letters, Faulk declared that Seth informed him, “The electronic camera capturing him with the clothing on was his most significant issue.” He likewise declared that Seth stated, “He had actually been providing (Amanda) pain medication throughout the day” which “she was lost consciousness” at the time of her death.
Constable Howard Sills: I believe he remained in the bed with her after she was lost consciousness … and held the weapon versus her head.
Anne-Marie Green: He lagged her?
Constable Howard Sills: Behind her or a little to the side.
The defense argued that Amanda shot herself due to the fact that her lies about Seth attacking her had actually possibly destroyed their lives. Just that small trace of gunshot residue was discovered on Perrault’s left hand and there was simply that one speck of blood discovered on his clothes.
Justin Kenney states the hardest thing for the defense to describe, was the method Amanda’s body was discovered.
Justin Kenney: We understood that it was gon na be an issue. … the body needed to be relocated some method. Needed to be touched in some method.
Kenney states there is one description that makes good sense to him; something Seth Perrault stated in his interview with Sheriff Sills.
SETH PERRAULT (to Sheriff Sills): I most likely did touch her. I was most likely huggin’ the s *** out of her.
Justin Kenney: And that would possibly represent her arms being, ah, by her sides.
When it comes to the method Seth’s weapon was discovered next to Amanda’s body with the ejected publication by her side, the defense worked with a professional who affirmed that he fired the weapon 6 times and after among those shootings, the publication spontaneously ejected.
Justin Kenney: It reveals that gun can drop the publication when it’s fired.
DA Wright Barksdale: Howard Sills took that extremely weapon out and shot it numerous times. The GBI took a look at that weapon, didn’t notate in their report any breakdowns whatsoever.
There was the medical inspector, Dr. Lora Darrisaw. Barksdale called her to the stand and asked her to describe how she pertained to her conclusion of suicide as the way of death.
DA Wright Barksdale: What I desired the jury and for her to see … she did rule out all the proof. … She had actually ruled out Seth’s child’s interview. She had actually ruled out the cellular phone information, the previous domestic abuse.
SETH PERRAULT (cellular phone video): Oh, so you didn’t– you didn’t video tape all the s *** …
Dr. Darrisaw safeguarded her conclusion. And in this declaration to “48 Hours,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation backed her up: “Our company backs up the initial specialist viewpoint of Perrault’s death.”
Anne-Marie Green: Were you stressed at all about the decision?
DA Wright Barksdale: What I attempt … and advise myself, it is my task to pursue justice and to provide a case for the jury to think about. … And if they were to stroll him out the door, I would have the ability to seek to Amanda Perrault’s household and state, “We did whatever we could.”
It had actually been simply under two-and-a-half-hours, when the jury in the murder trial of Seth Perrault revealed that they had actually reached a decision.
Alesha Johnson: When they called all of us back in, all of us simply held hands … And … dropped our head. I simply keep in mind hoping, sayin’, “God, you understand, simply please– you understand, please do this for our household. … Let us have justice for our sibling.”
And justice is what they feel they got. The decision: guilty of murder.
Alesha Johnson(psychological): It was bittersweet, due to the fact that we got justice, however it didn’t bring her back. It didn’t bring our buddy back.
That exact same day, Perrault was sentenced to life, without the possibility of parole.
Alesha Johnson: I desire several years of him prayin’ to God, and bein’ on his knees that he woulda took his own life rather of my sis’s.
Justin Kenney states he thinks an innocent male is now behind bars, for life.
Justin Kenney: My heart sank. … I’ve understood Seth for nearly a years now, and … I do not believe he did it.
Every August, on her birthday, Amanda’s sis honor her memory by launching love letters connected to purple balloons.
Angie Johnson: “I enjoy you Amanda, and I hope you are having a lovely birthday in paradise.”
Angie Johnson: And ideally this will discover someone that actually requires it.
Alesha Johnson: We simply wan na produce … awareness around domestic abuse. And for individuals to– do not kick back and simply let it take place, no matter what the– the victim is informing you. Defend them, you understand? Assist them. Assist them any method you can. There’s many things I want I might return now and do various (weeps). I want I might return and conserve her.
Anne-Marie Green: You’re gon na conserve someone with this.
Alesha Johnson: I hope so.
If you or somebody you understand is a victim of domestic abuse, call 1-800-799-SAFE or go to thehotline.org
Seth Perrault’s child is coping with her mom, who has custody; his sibling is petitioning to take custody.
“48 Hours” Post Mortem podcast
What takes place when a harmful relationship turns lethal, specifically at the hands of somebody who is expected to serve and secure? “48 Hours” factor Anne-Marie Green and manufacturer Judy Rybak go over crossing the thin blue line, a doubtful note left at the criminal activity scene, the stunning report from the medical inspector judgment Amanda’s death a suicide and if this would suffice to discover Seth innocent at trial.
Produced by Judy Rybak. Michelle Sigona and Anthony Venditti are the advancement manufacturers. Shaheen Tokhi is the field manufacturer. Lauren Turner Dunn is the associate manufacturer. Jud Johnston, Marcus Balsam, Marlon Disla and Wini Dini are the editors. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast manufacturer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive manufacturer.
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