We’ll never truly know what happened to Kat West
FROM STAFF REPORTS / Editorial
The Kat West murder trial captivated many of us from the start of that eerie morning almost three years ago on Jan. 13, 2018 when her body was found half naked and halfway in the grass and on the road outside of her Calera home.
During the week of Nov. 16, the mysterious case came to a budding head when the trial of Jeff West began. And after a week full of testimony from witnesses, first responders and others, we got an answer as to the verdict when a 12-person jury found the husband of Kathleen Dawn “Kat” West guilty of manslaughter.
Originally charged with murder, that charge was still on the table, but after both the prosecution and defense rested their cases, they met with presiding Judge Bill Bostick for a sentencing meeting at which time the manslaughter charge was put on the table due to the amount of alcohol in both during the night of the event.
The verdict seemed plausible with the defense’s argument that Kat West wasn’t murdered, but instead fell down and died from hitting her head not seeming possible.
But the week of the trial saw many ups and downs for both sides looking to make their case.
As a news organization that has followed the case from the start, you see how others cover the case and how it is handled from other parties involved, and it becomes easy to forget why you’re there.
A woman lost her life. And we’ll never truly know how.
With Jeff West not pleading guilty, we don’t know what his thought process was.
The defense put on the argument that Kat West was known for running around half naked while intoxicated and would jump around, leading to her fall, while the prosecution said an argument occurred, leading to Jeff West chunking his wife’s phone out the front door and into the street where he followed her outside and hit her over the head with a bottle of Lucid Absinthe, which was the only item found around the body that could have killed her according to the medical examiner, while adding it was unlikely a fall could have done the same thing.
Both sides found good points to argue, and the jury took five hours until 10 p.m. Friday night, Nov. 20 to reach a verdict.
But through it all, and through the verdict, Kat West still isn’t here.
That’s the heartbreaking part of all this.
While we get distracted by the entertainment of a murder mystery, a daughter no longer has a mother or father and nothing will bring Kat West back.
It has been a sad three years, and despite the verdict giving some closure, there will never be 100 percent closure on that tragic day.