Ezra McCandless, denied a new murder trial, appeals to the state

Posted at 1:39 PM, December 8, 2023

MENOMONIE, Wis. (Court TV) — A Wisconsin woman who is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of her former lover is seeking a retrial.

Ezra McCandless on the stand.

Ezra McCandless on the stand. (Court TV)

Ezra McCandless, 26, is petitioning the state appeals court after a Dunn County judge announced she would not be granted a new trial for the 2018 stabbing death of Alex Woodworth, 24. The appeal was filed with the Wisconsin appellate court by McCandless’ defense team. In addition to a retrial, they want interviews police conducted with McCandless to be excluded from any future legal proceedings that may occur.

Court TV’s Legendary Trials: WI v. McCandless: Killer Girlfriend Murder Trial (2019)

In a 2019 trial covered by Court TV, McCandless took the stand in her own defense, telling the jury she acted in self-defense when she stabbed Woodworth 16 times in the back seat of her car because he had tried to rape her. Woodworth’s body was left in a car in a remote wooded area between Eau Claire and Menomonie. The prosecution argued that McCandless lured Woodworth into the woods, made the decision to stab him, and then cut herself in order to make it look like she was a victim.

READ MORE: Wisconsin woman guilty of stabbing lover to death sentenced

McCandless’ defense maintains their client’s rights were violated, and that she deserves a new trial because police interviews were conducted illegally and should never have been admitted. When she initially asked for a new trial, McCandless argued that the jury did not get to hear her whole story, which included a history of suffering from sexual abuse. Her lawyers also argued that the state unfairly redacted journal entries written by Woodworth that state that he made unwanted sexual contact with McCandless.

The judge ultimately ruled that the defense did not have sufficient evidence to merit a whole new trial.