A Texas woman currently serving a 25-year prison sentence after being convicted of the 2005 murder of her husband is now speaking out publicly about her purported role in that incident.
A “20/20” prison interview with Wendi Mae Davidson that occurred in 2021 will now be aired by ABC News — an interview in which Davidson professed her innocence and insisted that she did not kill her husband.
She did, however, acknowledge and discuss the efforts she had made to dispose of the body of her dead husband, U.S. Air Force SSgt. Michael Severance, in a pond at a ranch near their shared home in San Angelo, Texas.
Claims she did not kill her husband but did dispose of the dead body
“I did not kill him,” Davidson told “20/20” last year. “I want my side of the story, what happened. I want people to know what did and didn’t happen.”
“I did what I did, I think it was horrible, I think that I made a bad choice, there were better choices to be made. But I still didn’t kill him,” she continued. “What I did was horrible, there’s no excuse. I mean I might have had crazy reasons in my head, but there’s no excuse.”
What Davidson admitted to doing that was so “horrible” was to move her husband’s already dead body that she claimed to have discovered to the nearby ranch with a pond and then weigh his body down with cinderblocks and other heavy objects. She also claimed to have stabbed the dead body repeatedly to create “vent holes” for air in the body to escape so that it wouldn’t float back up to the surface.
The investigation and discovery of the body
According to San Angelo Live, Davidson had pleaded no contest in 2006 to a charge of first-degree murder and two charges of tampering with evidence concerning the death of Severance, who she had just been married to a few months earlier.
She had reported him missing in mid-January 2005 and, at that time, it was speculated that Severance had been stressed and concerned about an impending deployment to the Middle East, his sixth since the War on Terror had begun in 2001. Local police immediately began searching for Severance and the Air Force joined in about a week later after he had officially been declared absent without leave after failing to report to work.
The military investigators searched Davidson’s computer and found searches for information on passing polygraph tests as well as the “decomposition of a body in water.” That made Davidson a suspect and prompted military investigators to get a warrant to attach a GPS tracker to her vehicle.
That led investigators to the nearby ranch, which Davidson had repeatedly returned to, and Severance’s body was then recovered from the pond. A toxicology report revealed that he had been killed by an overdose of animal tranquilizers and had been stabbed 41 times after he was dead, and given that Davidson was a veterinarian with access to such drugs, she was soon arrested and charged and tried.
Already denied parole, scheduled to be released in 2031
ABC News noted that if Davidson’s case had gone to trial, she would have faced up to 99 years in prison if convicted. She instead pleaded no contest to the charges, even as she maintained her innocence, and received the 25-year sentence she is currently serving.
The Bangor Daily News in Maine, where Severance and his family were from, reported in 2019 that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had denied a parole request from Davidson due to the horrific nature of the crime she was convicted of. She is next eligible for parole in 2024 but is otherwise scheduled for release in 2031 after her sentence.