Murder Trial Underway For Kelley Cannon - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Murder Trial Underway For Kelley Cannon

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The jury was selected Monday and the prosecution began its case in the first-degree murder trial against a Nashville mother accused of strangling her husband. 

Attorney James Cannon was found dead in a closet in his Green Hills home in June 2008. Police arrested his wife, Kelley Cannon, and charged her with violating a protection order that prevented her from seeing her children and husband. James Cannon had custody of their three children. 

The couple had been going through a bitter divorce. 

The Cannons' 11-year-old son took the stand testifying against his mother. He told the court his mother appeared nervous and jumpy that fateful night. 

The newly hired housekeeper also testified Monday. She was the one who found James "Jim" Cannon's body the morning of June 24, 2008. 

Housekeeper Vicky Shams described the summer morning inside the Cannon home. The front door was unlocked. The back door was standing open, and all three children were gone. 

She testified in the boys' upstairs bedroom a chest of drawers was moved to barricade the closet door. Inside she found the body of the prominent, Nashville attorney. 

"The first thing I seen was the palm of his hand, and it was like the color of charcoal," said Shams. 

Shams also noted an odor of bleach in the closet, and a bleach bottle on the floor. 

The housekeeper also expressed shock over Kelley's mother's apparently anti-climactic reaction to news of James' murder. 

"Because I knew that she already knew that he was dead. That's why," said Shams. 

Metro Police Detective Brad Putnam testified at a preliminary hearing in July 2008 that James' body was found in his boys' bedroom closet along with the fingertip of a latex glove. Autopsy results showed he was strangled. 

The detective said a cell phone adaptor with James Cannon's blood was found nearby. Putnam said there were bruises on James' body that indicated he went through a struggle. He said the latex glove had James' DNA on the outside and Kelly's DNA on the inside. 

Kelley allegedly stole those latex gloves from a nearby Walgreens. 

When police began investigating James Cannon's death his children were not at the home. They were with Kelley Cannon at her apartment. 

Kelley Cannon told police the night his body was found that she had been at the house. She said the back door was open, so she walked in the house. She also said she saw a few lights on. She allegedly tried to see if James was inside, and even called his name several times. 

Then Cannon said she heard one of the children crying in a bedroom. Since she couldn't find James, Kelley said she took the children back to her condominium, which is not too far away from the scene of the crime. 

Detectives asked her why she didn't call police. She said she feared for her children, but didn't feel the need to call authorities. 

Since that time, the case has taken a number of twists and turns, including Cannon being arrested for violating her bond twice – once for making harassing phone calls to her husband's business associate, and then for cutting off her ankle monitoring bracelet in March 2009. She went six days before officials were able to track her. 

Kelley was released in August on bond and shortly after tried to get custody of her three children. Her in-laws, who currently have custody of the children, got an order of protection against her. 

Cannon spoke to NewsChannel 5 shortly after her release and said she believes the investigation into her husband's death was "flawed." 

Cannon's three children and their guardians have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her for $40 million. Her children are ages 10, 8 and 2.

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