This story has been updated.
Kelley Cannon has been convicted of strangling her husband to death in the Green Hills house they shared in June 2008.
A Davidson County jury handed down a conviction Thursday afternoon of first degree premeditated murder, which comes with a life sentence. She will be eligible for parole in 51 years. The jury deliberated for about an hour before returning a verdict.
After the verdict was announced, Cannon’s mother, Diane Sanders, said her daughter didn’t murder James Cannon and that she was a wonderful wife with “a hard rope to tow.”
As for who did murder Cannon, Sanders said she had an idea but didn’t want to name anyone, saying “it’s too sordid.”
In a prepared statement released through the District Attorney’s office, James Cannon's family wrote, “We are grateful to have this behind us. We feel that justice has been served and thank the members of the jury for their careful attention to the facts of the case.
“Our family appreciates the efforts of the local authorities and the support and well-wishes of everyone as we return our focus onto our family.”
Asked about the guilty verdict, Assistant District Attorney Katy Miller told reporters, “Well, whenever a death is involved and three children have lost their father, I’m not sure I would call it a victory. I think justice has been done, but it’s still a sad day all the way around.”
Miller said evidence of Kelley Cannon’s DNA inside the tip of a latex glove with her dead husband’s blood on the outside of the glove was too difficult to get around.
In his closing argument, defense attorney Peter Strianse claimed that Kelley Cannon — whom he ironically called the “Anorexic Assassin” — could not have physically strangled her husband, James Cannon, because she weighed 90 pounds and was emaciated from the multi-drug cocktail she took for sleep.
But Miller said Cannon's job working for a doctor in the medical examiner’s office gave her the knowledge necessary to efficiently strangle someone. Also, Miller said, the fact Cannon's husband had a high level of alcohol in his bloodstream at the time of his death didn’t hurt her ability commit such an act.
Strianse also pointed the jury’s attention to three men he said were seeking the attention of Kelley Cannon, adding that James Cannon, a lawyer, had represented the wife of one in that couple’s divorce.
Police arrested Kelley Cannon, 43, two weeks after a housekeeper found her husband's body in a bedroom closet in the couple’s house at 710 Bowling Ave. on June 23, 2008.
James Cannon was an attorney and a partner in the Franklin-based Medical Reimbursements of America.