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Darby woman charged with murder takes the stand
Anne Stout takes the stand in a Ravalli County courtroom in Hamilton. Stout is charged with killing her husband in June 2007.
Photo by PERRY BACKUS/Ravalli Republic

The Darby woman charged with killing her husband last June told the jury Thursday that she thought her family was a strong and happy one.

Anne Marie Stout, 42, took the stand in the afternoon to answer a series of questions about her past, her family and her life with her husband, Bill. Her testimony is expected to continue Friday.

"My life was very happy with Bill," Stout said. "We had a good life together. We were making plans to possibly move up to Bigfork, making plans for vacation and building a new house."

Stout also talked about the death of her oldest son, Ben. Ben committed suicide during winter break, when he was 19, she said.

"I've never been to the property where he killed himself," Stout said. "What happened to Ben really affected us all. I dealt with it differently than Bill, and our two sons, Noah and Matthew, dealt with it differently from us. But we got through it, and I thought we were a strong, happy family."

Stout's attorney, Ed Sheehy, asked her if she was currently in a romantic relationship.

"Yes, I currently have a boyfriend," she said. "I met him around Thanksgiving last year at one of Matt's sports banquets."

Earlier in the day's court proceedings, Sheehy presented a video with Stout's interview with Ravalli County Detective Perry Johnson on June 15, the same day she was arrested for allegedly killing her husband.

In the video, Johnson told Stout he had all the evidence to believe she, in fact, killed Bill.

"I can assure you that I do know you are the main suspect in the murder of Bill Stout," Johnson said on the videotape. "We have all of the evidence and all of the findings to prove that. I know that he died before you left on Sunday morning and I have the time of death to prove that. I'm asking you these questions now to help me with the investigation."

Stout reacted emotionally to the accusation on the tape and said she didn't kill her husband.

"You are so misinformed," she said on the tape. "You can't prove anything, because you don't know. You are not informed because that did not happen."

Anne's courtroom testimony is expected to continue Friday morning in the courtroom of Ravalli County Judge Jeffrey Langton.

Bill Stout was found dead in his home with a bullet wound in his head on June 10, 2007. Anne is charged with deliberate homicide. The trial is expected to continue through early next week.

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