BUNNELL — A Bunnell woman who killed her legally blind husband in 2017 and hid his body for months beneath a jon boat on the couple’s property pleaded no contest to second-degree murder Monday, according to court records.
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins sentenced Dorothy Singer to 32½ years in prison for shooting her disabled husband, Charles William "Butch" Singer, five times near their Bunnell home in February 2017.
Singer, 55, must serve a minimum of 25 years of that sentence, according to her sentencing score sheet.
She was slated to be re-tried for first-degree murder this month. A jury found her guilty following a five-day trial in May 2019 and she was sentenced to life in prison.
But in a Nov. 22 ruling, the 5th District Court of Appeals reversed that murder conviction and ordered a new trial. The three-judge panel ruled that Circuit Judge Dennis Craig, who presided over Singer’s first trial, showed a "palpable abuse of discretion" when he refused to continue the case after prosecutors introduced a key piece of DNA evidence less than two weeks before the trial got underway.
Perkins in December set a May 18 re-trial date. But courthouse closures over the past two months forced several of Singer’s pre-trial hearings to be canceled or postponed.
Authorities discovered Charles Singer’s severely decomposed corpse in a "clandestine grave" on the couple’s Bunnell property April 7, 2017. His remains were wrapped in bedding and buried beneath tarps, debris and a jon boat in a wooded area.
He’d been shot four times in the head and once in the chest.
Prosecutors argued during Singer’s first trial that she killed him as he slept in their master bedroom. Singer maintained she blacked out during heated argument and shot her husband in self-defense as he attacked her near a hog pen in the couple’s backyard.