Saturday, July 02, 2005
Autopsy Finds Airman's Body Was Stabbed 41 Times
SAN ANGELO, Texas The body of a Dyess Air Force Base airman was stabbed 41 times and weighted with more than 140 pounds of car parts and other items before being dumped in a West Texas stock tank, according to an autopsy report.
The report released Friday also confirmed that Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Leslie Severance died of an overdose of drugs commonly found in veterinary clinics. Severance's wife, veterinarian Wendi Mae Davidson, has been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of tampering with evidence.
Tom Green County Justice of the Peace Eddie Howard told the San Angelo Standard-Times he would rule Severance's death a homicide, saying the airman "didn't do it to himself.''
Howard called the killing ghastly but icily efficient, one of the worst he has seen in more than a dozen years on the job. He said the report indicates Severance's murder probably was not an act of rage.
"These were post-mortem cuts to allow the release of gases that typically accumulate in decomposing bodies,'' Howard said in Saturday's edition of the Bangor (Maine) Daily News. "Rage is hitting (stabbing or poking) one spot. It's more localized. These were spread out.''
The autopsy confirmed preliminary results showing that Severance's blood contained lethal amounts of pentobarbital, a drug often used to euthanize animals that also can be prescribed for humans. It was not clear whether the 24-year-old airman had a prescription for that drug or others found in his body.
Judi Davidson declined to comment to the San Angelo newspaper and said her daughter also was not available for comment. Wendi Davidson's attorney was on vacation.
Police have said Wendi Davidson told her brother she found her husband dead Jan. 15 and hid his body, fearing a family member had killed him. She reported him missing the next day and filed for divorce the following day. Severance's body was found March 6.
The autopsy report says the body was weighted down with two cinder blocks, a rock, a boat anchor, a brake drum and a wheel rim attached with fishing line, baling wire, rope and plastic ties.
Leslie Severance, the airman's father, said the autopsy report makes him question whether Wendi Davidson acted alone.
"Wow. Wow. That opens up a whole bunch of new questions about this,'' Severance told the Daily News. "It changes my feelings about what I have been told.''