PHOTO CAPTION: Mrs. Anjette Donovan Lyles left the courtroom after her conviction in the poisoning of her daughter.
FULL TEXT: Macon, Ga. – Plump, blonde Anjette Donovan Lyles, convicted and sentenced to die for poisoning her daughter, awaited word from her attorneys today on chances for a new trial.
A Bibb County Superior Court jury convicted the 33-year-old widow of murder Monday night. Her attorneys immediately filed notice of appeal, and this automatically stayed the date of execution which had been set for Dec. 5.
Mrs. Lyles is also accused by the state of poisoning two husbands and a mother-in-law with arsenic. She was tried only in the death of her 9-year-old daughter, Marcia Elaine Lyles.
~ Accepts Verdict Calmly ~
The former restaurant owner accepted the death verdict calmly. The only visible reaction was when her alabaster skin reddened and she bit her lip.
Judge Oscar Long set a precedent when he told Mrs. Lyles she might remain seated while sentence was pronounced.
The courtroom was jammed it had been every day of the trial.
Long set a hearing on the motion for a new trial for Dec. 12.
If the buxom widow loses her appeal, she will be the first white woman to die in Georgia’s electric chair. Only one woman, a negro, has been electrocuted in this state.
~ Blanket Denial ~
In an unsworn statement allowed under Georgia law, Anjette made a blanket denial of all the state’s charges and in the specific case under which she was being tried, that of Marcia, maintained there was no motive.
She said she received only $1,750 from insurance while her expenses, including hospital bills, special nurses and burial, amounted to $5,000.
“I did not give my child any poison – I did not kill my child,” Anjette declared.
~ Burned Candles ~
The state charged she murdered for hate and greed.
The young woman acknowledged an abnormal interest in “root doctors, spiritual advisers and fortune tellers.”
She said she burned seven-day candles – green for luck and money, white for peace, and red for love and once burned a black candle in attempting to break up a romance between her boy friend, airline pilot Bob Franks, and another girl.