Published December 27. 2010 4:00AM
A three-judge panel in December found Charles Buck of Mystic not guilty of killing his wife, Leslie, in May 2002.
Prosecutors tried to show that Buck - infatuated with a younger female bartender whom he showered with expensive gifts - had struck his wife in the head with a wire club and strangled her.
The death of the popular elementary school teacher came two days after she was kidnapped and assaulted by a Ledyard handyman but escaped a few hours later. Buck called police on May 4, 2002, to say he had just returned home and found his wife dead. Buck's attorneys created doubt about how Leslie Buck died by producing two experts who testified she died of a heart problem. Charles Buck now faces a civil lawsuit filed by his wife's estate, which alleges he killed her.
- Joe Wojtas