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Jury deciding fate of woman in murder trial

WICHITA — A jury began deciding this afternoon whether Melinda Hazelton shot her husband in cold blood or self-defense.

She is charged with second-degree murder in the November 2009 shooting death of her estranged husband, John Hazelton.

The jury is scheduled to return Friday morning to continue deliberations.

Defense attorney Richard Ney argued that Melinda Hazelton shot her husband after years of abuse toward both her and her daughter.

Hazelton testified that she had reported her husband to police for abusing their daughter the night before the shooting. She said that John Hazelton tried to force her to take an overdose of drugs at gunpoint. She grabbed the gun and shot him in the face.

Prosecutors Justin Edwards and Shannon Wilson argued evidence showed no signs of a struggle or an imminent threat beyond Hazelton's version of events.

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