HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A former Huntsville nurse who is accused of killing her husband with insulin was in court for day three of his murder trial on Wednesday.
Marjorie “Nikki” Cappello was charged with the death of her husband, James “Jim” Cappello after his body was found in their home. She was arrested on September 29, 2018, just two days after he was reported missing by his family.
Huntsville Police investigators and a medical examiner were among the witnesses called to the stand on Wednesday. The day started with the jury watching a video of homicide Investigator Michael DeNoon interviewing Nikki after police found the body of her husband, Jim.
In that video, Nikki explained to DeNoon she last spoke to Jim on Thursday, September 20 around 5 a.m. but had no evidence that he was even alive at that time. At 8:30 p.m. that evening, Nikki received a text from Laura Burks, the coworker Jim was having an affair with. She was asking for his whereabouts.
Nikki said she called the police on Friday morning to file a missing persons report, then took her daughter to school and went to her mother’s house.
When asked by prosecutor Tim Douthit, Nikki said she talked to Jim’s sister, Jamie, on Thursday morning about Jim’s condition since he had been sick Wednesday night. She talked to Jamie again on Thursday and told her Jim hadn’t been seen.
In that video, Nikki claims to officers she found Jim’s body in the garage. When asked why she did not call the police or allow them in the house initially. She says she was scared of how things would look.
As questions continued on video, Nikki is seen asking for a lawyer.
The video shows DeNoon saying the conversation is over, and evidence would be given to the district attorney’s office. When Nikki asked what evidence he was calling the district attorney with, DeNoon repliaed scene and officer reports.
The district attorney is called, and the video then shows an investigator telling Nikki she was being arrested for Jim’s murder. Nikki explained she could not go to jail due to being on medication, though DeNoon said if it’s a prescription, family can bring it to her.
The video ended with Nikki handcuffed and walked out of the room.
DeNoon said he interviewed other members of the Cappello family, hospital personnel, and Ashley Stricklin, Nikki’s closest friend.
Crime scene investigator Jeremy Phipps walked the jury through photos of the home that included a prescription drug Jim claimed Nikki was abused before his death, a freshly dug hole in the backyard, a muddy shovel, and muddy women’s shoes.
Prosecutors also had Phipps go through images of Jim’s body after it was found decomposing on a tarp in the garage and insulin needles and syringes found inside the Cappello’s home. Phipps said only the coroner touched the body.
Other items DeNoon said were found inside the home include multiple laptops, two iPads, two iPhones, a Sony hand camera, and several medications.
Valerie Green, who performs autopsy for the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, was called as an expert witness and testified insulin toxicity can not be detected in the body after a certain amount of time.
Green said after a few days, you cannot medically detect a level of insulin the body, and days later, an insulin injection needle rarely leaves a mark or injection site.
Therefore, she says that a specific cause of death could not be ruled out in this case.
Prosecutors will resume Thursday morning and say they also expect to rest their case.