BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — An appeal by an Arden woman, sentenced to life in prison for the 2016 murder of her husband, has been denied.
Brenda Kay Parker McCutcheon was found guilty and sentenced in February 2020 for shooting her husband, Dr. Frank “Buddy” McCutcheon Jr., in the back of the head while he slept in their home on Tree Top Drive in Arden back in July 2016.
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In April 2021, McCutcheon’s attorneys appealed the verdict based on multiple accusations including that the trial court “committed plain error by admitting testimony from Buddy’s brother concerning how Buddy’s death had affected him,” according to court documents.
The appeal argued that family testimony about the impacts of the murder were “irrelevant” to the case and that the court made an “error” allowing the jury to hear the impact statements.
Appeals Court Judge John Tyson disagreed saying, “Defendant failed to object when the challenged testimony was admitted during Richard and Rebekah’s direct examinations. Defense counsel elicited evidence of a similar nature about the impact of Buddy’s death and Richard’s grief upon cross examination. Amplified evidence about Richard’s grieving was also admitted without objection during his redirect, which has not been challenged on appeal.”
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Judge Tyson found there was "no error in the jury’s verdict."
At the time of the homicide, the family business was under investigation by the North Carolina Department of Revenue amid embezzlement suspicious. Brenda McCutcheon had a key role in the finances of the business. Immediately after killing Frank, authorities say Brenda McCutcheon began shredding important documents related to the business, sold their home and moved to Tennessee.