Claudine Longet and Spider Sabich
After the shooting, gung-ho cops made two decisions that would have dire consequences for Longet's prosecution.
First, they forced Longet to give a blood test without a judicial order. Second, they confiscated her personal diary without a warrant.
Before the trial, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Longet's rights were violated by the blood test and diary seizure.
The drug test reportedly showed traces of cocaine in Longet's blood, and her diary allegedly documented the failing relationship.
Frank Tucker, the county prosecutor, read the diary and said the conflict between Sabich and Longet could not have been clearer.
"She was an over-the-hill glamourpuss, and she was not going to lose another man," Tucker said. "Andy Williams had already dumped her, and she was not going to be dumped again, thank you."
The evidence ruling was a boon to the defense.
Lawyers Weedman and Austin had indicated to reporters that the trial would include evidence that the relationship was on the skids. They thought prosecutors would be allowed to read compromising passages from Longet's diary.
But with the diary barred, the tone of the defense changed. The lawyers insisted that Sabich and Longet were deeply, blissfully in love.