Arthur March Speaks Out - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Arthur March Speaks Out

He testified against his own son, but his deal with prosecutors went bad. Now Arthur March expects he'll die in prison for his role in the murder case of Janet March. First, he'll have his say.

Arthur spoke out in an exclusive interview to NewsChannel 5, his only one since he and his son Perry were convicted.

He said he feels cheated and he's now living a nightmare.

"And then the government comes in and screws me like this? I don't understand it. I have no way of making myself believe this isn't all a nightmare,' Arthur said. "I'm gonna die in prison."

Arthur's nightmare is that a federal judge decided his plea deal was too lenient. Instead of 18 months, the judge sentenced Arthur to five years behind bars

"The nicest way I can put it is I got screwed. I got screwed, a big fat screwing," he said.

Arthur March doesn't mince words. He's furious about circumstances that have sent him to prison very likely for the rest of his life.

"I just wanna remind everybody that any way you look at it I got screwed by the U.S. government," he said.

In this exclusive interview, Arthur said he had a deal with prosecutors in the biggest murder trial in Nashville history. He agreed to testify that his own son Perry March admitted killing his wife Janet, and that they both disposed of her body.

In return, Arthur would serve only 18 months on a separate conspiracy charge that he tried to kill Janet's parents Lawrence and Carolyn Levine. Arthur said he held up his end of the deal. Arthur said Perry also planned to cut a deal, but then backed out.

"I don't know how [Perry] feels. But if he does, it was wrong cuz I didn't turn on him. I did what he told me to do or asked me to do.  Not told me, but what he asked me to do," Arthur said.

Prosecutors said he was a pivotal witness.

"Obviously I think Arthur March's testimony was key because it gave us something we did not have, and that was at least an explanation of what happened to Janet March's body," prosecuting attorney in the Perry March case Tom Thurman said.

In fact, after hearing Arthur testify, the jury convicted Perry of murder.

"He asked me to help dispose of Janet's body," Arthur said in his testimony. To him there was no emotion saying she wasn't a daughter-in-law, only a body.

He feels little regret for his involvement, and still believes his son did not intentionally kill his wife Janet.

"You're trying to help your son, 'cuz you know he had an accident with his wife and it was an accidental death and you know that's a fact, 'cuz your son told you and he told you how it happened and everything else," he said. "I mean, I know I have a big mouth. And, I probably said something I shouldn't have said," he said.

A federal prison in Texas is a long way from Ajijic, Mexico where the 78-year-old Arthur March led a comfortable life just eleven months ago. At the time, Arthur was full of bravado answering questions about Janet with lies, and threatening anyone who might come to arrest him.

"They don't have a murder case," he said then. "If they try I don't go peacefully. I don't go peacefully."

Of course, the FBI did get Arthur. Now, he's a threat to no one. In frail health, Arthur is confined to a wheelchair in prison where he said his heart condition won't improve.

"It keeps getting worse. I have no strength. I can't walk. I'm on all kinds of medication," he said.

Sick and mostly bed-ridden in prison, Arthur knows his future is bleak. There are moments he admits wondering what might have been if he'd never agreed to help his son cover-up a murder.

"I mean, I feel badly that I was even involved. If I'd have had some sense I'd probably said no to the beginning of it and never got involved," he said.

Arthur believes other jailhouse witnesses who testified against Perry like Nathan Farris received deals, something the prosecution denies.

But Arthur feels closed out.

"Listen they got everything. They got my grandkids. They got everything. So I don't know what's there to think about them. They got what they wanted," Arthur said.

Arthur forgets the Levines lost Janet, their only daughter, and have never recovered her body. He doesn't seem to care, figuring he'll be the next to go.

"My blood pressure goes up and down like a rubber ball on the cement. And my leg, I just don't understand. And, I have to go get another biopsy, because the first biopsy showed that I have cancer in the leg," Arthur said.

Arthur would have you believe he wasn't entirely aware of everything going on, and that he simply trusted his son. Of course, at any time, he could have told Perry no. Instead he's now in prison.

Arthur March is now in a federal medical prison in Ft. Worth, Texas. He will be eligible for release, if he lives that long, in 2010

Arthur March's attorney Fletcher Long considered challenging his client's five-year sentence in federal prison. But Thursday, Long announced they will not appeal, in part because of Arthur's poor health.

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