Iowa woman who killed her husband and left his body in a bedroom gets work release

Iowa woman who killed her husband and left his body in a bedroom gets work release
Dixie Shanahan Duty in 2004. (World-Herald News Service)

DES MOINES  (AP) — The Iowa Board of Parole has granted work release to a woman convicted in 2004 of fatally shooting her husband and leaving his body in a bedroom for more than a year.

The Des Moines Register reports 50-year-old Dixie Shanahan Duty of Defiance was granted work release earlier in June.

Duty acknowledged killing her husband, Scott Shanahan, but said it was in self-defense. She argued her husband had battered and verbally abused her.

A jury convicted Duty of second-degree murder, a conviction that carried a sentence of 50 years. Shortly before leaving office. Gov. Tom Vilsack commuted her sentence so she only had to serve a minimum of 10 years before being eligible for parole.

When she begins work release, Duty will be able to leave a work release center for a job. Corrections Department spokeswoman Cord Overton says the center could later recommend that she be paroled.

The parole board would make the final decision.

As of Monday, she remained in the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, east of Des Moines.

Prosecutors say Duty used a shotgun to kill her husband while he slept in August 2002. She told people he’d left the community.

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