- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A California woman accused of helping her then-husband kill and dismember a Pennsylvania man over a drug dispute told police the victim asked for a chance to pray before he was stabbed, and her husband became sexually aroused after the killing and immediately had sex with her.

Jurors in the Monroe County murder trial of Stacy Britton, 48, heard her describe the July 2002 killing of Robert Roudebush when her recorded police statement was played Thursday. Roudebush’s charred remains were later found in two barrels, but his killing went unsolved for 13 years.

Britton and her then-husband, James Britton Jr., 35, lived in Wilkes-Barre, in northeastern Pennsylvania, when Roudebush was killed. But they moved to California shortly after, divorced, and most recently lived in Twentynine Palms, California.

That’s where Stacy Britton last year tried to pin the killing on James Briton because she was angry with his new wife. She told San Bernardino County (California) sheriff’s deputies she was passed out from heroin in a restaurant parking lot when her husband killed Roudebush at their Pennsylvania home. But she later acknowledged helping James Britton plan the killing, which she said they rehearsed.

According to her recorded statement, Britton told investigators her husband began saying, “We gotta kill Bob,” after Roudebush pocketed half of the cocaine the group had spread out on a table. That’s when James Britton devised a scheme to stab Roudebush, but only after Stacy Britton hit Roudebush on the head with a small sledgehammer while she distracted him with a plate of barbecued pork chops in her other hand, she told police.

The Brittons rehearsed the plot several times. But on the day of the killing, Stacy Britton told police she lost her nerve and instead saw her husband attack Roudebush with a knife as she dropped the hammer and ran upstairs. Britton saw her husband struggle with Roudebush and stab him several times before slicing the victim’s throat after he first asked to pray.

“The fact that Bob wasn’t dying fast enough is why he sliced his neck,” Britton said in the recorded statement.

Britton told police the killing “elated” her husband and made him “amorous” so they had sex while James Britton kept talking about the killing.

Britton then described how she used scissors, gardening shears and finally an ax to decapitate and dismember Roudebush.

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This story has been corrected to show the recording was played in court Thursday, not Wednesday.

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