LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada attorney did not kill herself as first determined two years ago, a coroner said Monday, adding a new twist to a case that drew headlines when her husband, a Las Vegas-area psychologist, was accused of killing her with a lethal combination of pain pills and anti-freeze.
New evidence led to a change in the cause of Susan Winters’ death from suicide to “undetermined,” Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said. The finding wasn’t homicide, and Fudenberg declined to describe the new evidence he said he received from Henderson police.
“It will most likely come out in court proceedings,” the coroner said.
Winters’ husband, Gregory “Brent” Dennis, was arrested in February and charged with her death after her parents hired a private investigator and filed a lawsuit in August 2015 alleging that Dennis was responsible.
The criminal charge alleges that Dennis poisoned Winters, 48, in January 2015.
Dennis, 54, is free on $250,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing, scheduled for Aug. 21.
His lawyers have said he will plead not guilty. Defense attorney Richard Schonfeld said Monday that the coroner’s ruling shows that evidence in the case is inconclusive.
“It begs the question, ‘Why is Mr. Dennis facing a criminal charge?'” Schonfeld said.
Schonfeld attributed the coroner’s action to pressure from Winters’ parents, Danny and Avis Winters of Oklahoma City, and to publicity about the case in local media.
A lawyer for Winters’ family said they welcomed the coroner’s decision.
“They never believed that Susan took her own life,” attorney Tony Sgro said. “It took some time, but law enforcement ultimately concluded that Brent Dennis should be arrested and stand trial for murder.”
Dennis operated a mental health clinic in Boulder City until his license was suspended by the state Board of Psychological Examiners following his arrest.