November 24, 2020

Jury sees texts between online model, husband tried in death

Jurors in the trial of a man charged with the murder of his wife, an online adult model who lived a double life as a stay-at-home mom, reviewed text messages Thursday that showed discord in their marriage in the days before she died.

Eight days before she was found dead outside their suburban home on Jan. 12, 2018, Kathleen Dawn West texted husband William Jeffrey West: “I know you’re scared to tell me you don’t want to be with me, but it’s only hurting me more by lying,” al.com reported.

Text messages shown to the Shelby County jury showed she also wrote: “If you don’t want me say it.” The man replied: “Baby, I want you. Do you want me? We really never talked after NYE.”

Jurors were allowed to see the messages based on a decision by Circuit Judge Bill Bostick. The woman told West he was “throwing away 14 years of marriage.” But she also sent him nude photos of herself and said in one message: “Thank you for making me feel sexy.”

Prosecutors contend West, 47, killed his 42-year-old wife with a blow to the head from a liquor bottle. Her body was found along the street in front of their suburban home.
The defense argues that the woman, who was heavily intoxicated at the time of her death, fell accidentally and hit her head.

Forensic evidence showed that traces of the women’s blood were found on the bottom of the bottle, and her blood also was found on a towel in the master bathroom and a white tank top retrieved from a laundry basket.

Prosecutors contend the messages reveal tension that led to West killing his wife with a blow to the head from a liquor bottle. Outside court, defense lawyer John Robbins said the texts do not make the case the prosecution claims.

“To me, it’s a bunch of baloney,” said Robbins. “It’s supposed to show the volatile marriage they had. She’s mad at him one minute and sending naked pictures to him and saying she loves him the next.”

Kathleen West publicly posted lingerie photos online and charged viewers to see sexier images. The defense told jurors during opening statements that her adult pictures — posted under the name “Kitty Kat West” — did not cause discord between the couple and that Jeff West assisted her.