Patty Prewitt & Her Husband Bill’s Murder on ‘Final Appeal’

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Final Appeal is a new series on Oxygen that airs at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday evenings. Former footballer Brian Banks, along with former prosecutor Lori Coombs examine controversial cases that may involve wrongful convictions. In 2002, Banks went to prison because he was falsely convicted of rape, but he was later, fully exonerated, according to Entertainment Tonight. Now, Banks and Coombs hope to help people who have been wrongly accused of crimes.

Patty Slaughter met her late husband Bill Prewitt in the 7th grade and the two became high school sweethearts, according to Riverfront Times. The couple married in 1968 and went on to have five children. The couple reportedly lived a calm life, but Slaughter said in May 1974, three men pulled her into the bushes while she was running errands and she was raped. She told the Riverfront Times that she never reported the incident out of embarrassment.

While on trial for husband Prewitt’s murder, Slaughter said that after she told her husband about the incident, their marriage changed. She explained, “He got more and more distant somehow. He didn’t want to make love to me.” As a result, Slaughter said she went on to have an affair with a man named Ricky Mitts and she became pregnant with his child. But, Slaughter said Prewitt raised the baby as his own. Mitts actually testified in court that Slaughter had offered him $10,000 to kill her husband. Mike Brown, a former lumberyard employee, and his friend Richard Hayes also made similar claims.

Prosecutor Tom Williams reported during the trial that Prewitt and Slaughter were behind on their life insurance payments and that the grace period for both policies expired on February 18th in 1984, the day that Bill Prewitt was killed. He was shot twice with his own gun, while in bed. The rifle was found in a pond right by the Prewitts’ home. According to The Kansas City Star, Slaughter had claimed that an intruder came into their home and attacked her in addition to shooting her husband, but there was no sign of forced entry.

Patty Slaughter was sentenced to life in prison without parole for 50 years. Decades after the crime, prosecutor Tom Williams told the Riverfront Times that, “In all my years of prosecution, I’ve never felt more secure in a conviction than I feel in this one. She was guilty as hell.” Today, Patty Slaughter (Prewitt) is 68 years old and is incarcerated in Vandalia, Missouri. She is not eligible for parole for another 19 years. There is actually a Facebook profile dedicated to Patty Slaughter’s potential freedom.

According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slaughter spends her time today participating in her prison’s performing arts. She teaches yoga and aerobics to other prisoners and is involved with the PATCH program, as well as the Restorative Justice Program. The PATCH program supports incarcerated mothers and their kids. Today, Patty Slaughter (Prewitt) still maintains that she did not kill her husband.