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Woman Charged With Boyfriend's Murder 17 Years After He Was Found Shot Dead On Their Driveway

Investigators say they found gunshot residue on Alice Weiss' robe after James Summers was found shot to death on their driveway.

By Gina Tron
Police Lights G

A Missouri woman has been charged this week with her boyfriend’s murder, 17 years after he was shot to death at their home.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office announced on Thursday that they have charged 65-year-old Alice Weiss with second-degree murder for the death of James Summers in 2004. Summers, Weiss’ former live-in boyfriend, was shot in both the back and the face in the couple’s driveway. A .22 caliber handgun was found in between his body and their house.

“Summers’ girlfriend, Alice Weiss was questioned by deputies and told them that the .22 caliber handgun had belonged to her and had been stored in a bedroom closet unloaded,” the office stated in a Thursday press release. “According to Weiss, Summers had left to pick up his daughter from a gymnastics class while Weiss went to go shower in the master bathroom. Weiss claims to have heard the gunshots from the bathroom and went to investigate.”

At the time as they swabbed her for gunshot residue, Weiss told investigators that she fired the gun for the first time in 20 years earlier that day, according to a probable cause statement.

Weiss’s father was the only other person in the house at the time. However, he had late-stage dementia and was unable to provide a coherent statement about what happened, according to the office.

While the case turned cold for years, a reinvestigation into it by a cold case unit was launched by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt last year. 

"There are many instances where Weiss gave differing or conflicting statements concerning the event,” the probable cause statement alleges. The statement also claims that investigators found gunshot residue on the left sleeve of the bathrobe Weiss was wearing when deputies arrived. She said she was not wearing the garment earlier in the day when she supposedly fired the gun.

The probable cause statement also notes that neighbors did not see any strangers in the neighborhood around the time and area of the shooting.

Furthermore, Weiss' cousin, who was not named by the office, allegedly gave authorities contradictory information, claiming she grabbed her gun and confronted a home intruder as she got in the shower on the day of the murder. 

Four years after the killing, Weiss allegedly told that relative that she had always been curious if shooting someone "was as pleasurable as sex," according to the probable cause statement. The cousin claimed that Weiss said that if she were ever charged with Summers' shooting, she would blame her now-dead father.

The cousin also said that when asked why she shot Summers, Weis replied, "there is little difference between love and hate," the office said.

The probable cause statement notes that since the killing investigators have found no other likely suspect. 

It’s unclear if Weiss has a lawyer to speak on her behalf.

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