OUACHITA COUNTY, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — A South Arkansas woman has been sentenced to serve life in prison after being found guilty of First-Degree Murder with a Firearm Enhancement.

On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, a jury announced a guilty verdict in the case of Elizabeth Haynie. On September 6, 2021, deputies of the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call to a residence on Highway 24 where they made contact with Elizabeth. Upon arrival, authorities were advised by Elizabeth that her husband, Jerome Haynie, needed medical attention.

According to Camden News, two juvenile boys were present outside of the residence and a juvenile girl was inside the home. According to authorities, deputies followed Elizabeth inside the residence and located Jerome lying on the floor in a large amount of blood. Authorities also observed a handgun on the floor near Jerome’s hands.

According to authorities, Elizabeth advised that the handgun went off during an altercation between her and Jerome. Authorities went on to learn that the children did not see anything; however, they heard a loud sound. According to Camden News, one of the children mentioned that Elizabeth asked her to call an ambulance after they heard the loud noise.

Jerome was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Camden News, Haynie rejected a plea deal that would have reduced the charges to manslaughter, due to a conflict with her lawyer, who was also representing her in her husband’s estate case in January 2023. According to reports, the court documents filed in the 13th Judicial District set a jury trial for May 23, 2023, through May 25, 2023. The case was initially set for trial in October 2022 and reset to April 2023.

As a result of the trial, Elizabeth was sentenced to serve life in prison in the Arkansas Department of Correction for First-Degree Murder, and 15 years in prison for Firearm Enhancement.