A Central Texas man convicted of killing his wife will be set free after an appeals court said there was not enough evidence to convict him of the crime.
Rex Nisbett was sentenced to 42 years in prison back in 2014 for the murder of his wife Vicki Lynn Nisbett. Rex and Vicki Lynn were separated when she disappeared in 1991 and her body has never been found. “It's a case that should have never been prosecuted,” said Keith Lauerman, Attorney for Rex Nisbett said in a statement regarding the news his client will now go free.
The murder conviction against Nisbett was reversed Thursday by an appeals court which concluded there was, "Reversible error in the trial court's judgment of conviction." According to the ruling, there was insufficient evidence to prove how Vicki Lynn was killed, and the judge even questioned if she is dead.
The cold case was revived shortly after Williamson County DA Jana Duty took office in 2012; she said she didn’t know why the case wasn’t taken to trial earlier, even though investigators didn’t have a body or a murder weapon.
A bloody handprint was found in Vicki Lynn's Anderson Mill Apartment and during the trial, it was linked to Rex Nisbett. A blood stain from a closet was also part of the circumstantial evidence that convicted the jury to issue its guilty verdict. A
District Attorney Jana Duty who’s leaving office in January said she's disappointed with the appeals court decision. In a written statement she said, “The Third Court overturned this jury's conviction based on the State "not proving that Rex Nisbett intended to kill Vicki." How does the State ever prove "intent" than by one's actions? We know that Rex was angry that Vicki was moving on with her life, she was divorcing him and had met someone new. When she disappeared, the detectives found blood soaked carpet, down thru to the padding and a bloody handprint that matched Rex Nisbett, along with a lot of other circumstantial evidence. The moral to this story for prosecutors across the state of Texas is don't bother trying murder cases where the suspect was smart enough to get rid of the body. If the evidence in this no-body case was not enough, then the State should forgo ever trying one of these again. The judges on the Third Court are substituting their judgment for the judgment of the 12 jurors that heard all of the evidence and rendered their verdict. Shame on the Third Court. This is not how the system is supposed to work. As to the question of whether or not the State will appeal, I am asking other CA's and DA's and TDCAA to weigh in on that decision.”
Nisbett's defense team said he has not yet been released from prison and there's no word yet on when he will be.