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Wife denies affair

F.T. Norton, Appeal Staff Writer

The ex-wife of a Carson City man being tried for murder testified Thursday she was not having an affair with the victim.

Karen Cade admitted she “fell in love” with building contractor Rick Albrecht through almost daily telephone conversations and “hoped” to date him, but not until her divorce was final.

“A week before Rick was killed, I was dependent upon him emotionally,” Cade said. “(We were) best friends.”

Cade’s estranged husband, Tony Echols, 41, from whom she was separated at the time of the killing, is being tried in Albrecht’s Aug. 5, 2000, shooting death.

In his recorded statements to police at the time of his arrest, Echols claimed the relationship between his wife and Albrecht drove him to confront Albrecht about staying away from the couple’s 8-year-old son, when the .22-caliber gun Echols was holding accidentally fired.

A forensic pathologist testified Albrecht died of two gunshot wounds to the head.

“Based on the position the body resided in at the scene — the first shot entered in the left eyebrow,” said Dr. Ellen Clark.

A second shot was in the crown of the victim’s head and there was nothing in the autopsy to suggest the shots were fired in rapid succession, Clark told the jury.

“(Either shot) could have been fatal on its own,” she said.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer asked Clark if she’d ever seen an accidental shooting.

“I’ve never seen a confirmed accidental shooting with more than one shot,” she said.

Under cross examination, Clark admitted to defense attorney Tod Young that she had performed only three autopsies on accidental shooting victims.

In other testimony, a family friend testified that during the couple’s separation, Echols would confide in her daily his frustrations with the suspected affair and his not being able to see his son.

“He told me if he wasn’t a Christian, he’d take his shotgun over there and either shoot or kill Mr. Albrecht,” said Christina Myers. “I told him repeatedly to stay away from them.”

After Echols was arrested in the killing, Myers said, he called her and told her what happened.

“He told me he had gone over to Mr. Albrecht’s house and Mr. Albrecht let him in,” Meyers said. “They sat down and spoke for about a half hour and he’d asked Mr. Albrecht to stay away from his son. He said when he leaned back, the gun went off.”

“You have to believe me,” she said Echols pleaded.

An expert witness for the prosecution is expected to testify today. The defense case is expected to begin Monday.