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News / Clark County News

Murder trial continues; Camas woman to take stand

Westby claims self-defense in fatal shooting of husband

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: February 6, 2023, 6:08pm

A judge denied a motion Monday to dismiss the murder and assault charges against Stephanie “Sam” Westby. Her bench trial continues Tuesday with the defense’s witnesses, and Westby is expected to take the stand.

Westby’s defense attorney brought the motion Monday morning — after the state rested its case — arguing the prosecution had presented insufficient evidence of her guilt.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Nancy Retsinas denied the motion, saying she wanted to hear the rest of the evidence the defense intended to bring.

Westby is claiming self-defense in the Sept. 15, 2019, fatal shooting of her husband, Joe Westby, at their Camas home. Monday was the fifth day of trial.

Two of Westby’s friends testified that when she called them in the days before the shooting, she never expressed anger toward her husband over her discovery of his extramarital affair. Instead, they described her as being sad.

The couple’s son, Jourdan Westby, testified his parents had a loving relationship, and he never saw his father act violently toward his mother.

The prosecutor read a transcript of a police interview, in which Jourdan Westby said his mother suggested he leave the house that night prior to the shooting. The transcript also indicated Jourdan Westby told police his mother told him to check in with her before returning home.

Jourdan Westby testified his parents tried to insulate him and his sister from the couple’s arguments.

Surveillance video played earlier in the trial showed Jourdan Westby pulling into the driveway on the night of the shooting. He said he texted his mother to see if he could come home, but when he didn’t get a response, he left again.

The prosecutor said Jourdan Westby’s car was seen leaving the same minute his mother called 911.