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Prosecutors: Murder was 'firearm-related'

A Central Point bus driver is weeks away from entering a plea on a charge accusing her of murdering her husband earlier this week.

Louise May Richards' court-appointed defense lawyer, Don Scales, declined to enter a plea on a grand jury's formal indictment charging Richards with murdering her separated husband late Monday afternoon at her home in the first block of Victoria Way. Instead, Scales sought a new hearing in three weeks.

"There are some things we need to investigate," Scales told Circuit Judge Patricia Crain. "The case is still very new."

Crain set a new hearing for Sept. 22.

Scales said that although Jackson County defense lawyers typically enter not-guilty pleas for their clients promptly after the clients are charged with a felony, murder charges don't fall under the same speedy trial guidelines. Murder suspects are held in jail without bail.

"The arraignment isn't on as tight of a timeline," Scales said. "We're not burning time."

Details remain limited as to how 70-year-old Terry Alan Richards died, or why he was on the property around 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Jackson County Civil Court records show Louise Richards had filed for divorce in September of last year and listed a Coos Bay address for Terry Richards. The two were married in 2004.

Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Lull said Terry Richards' death was "firearm-related," and added he hopes to be "more succinct" by the time Louise Richards enters her plea Sept. 22.

Both sides are still piecing together what happened Monday afternoon. Scales said he just brought an investigator on board.

Scales described his client, a 62-year-old federal government retiree, current bus driver for First Student and mother of two grown daughters, as "not your typical criminal" and "by all accounts just a nice person."

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

Louise Richards appears briefly via courtroom monitor before Judge Patricia Crain Friday in Medford. [Photo by Denise Baratta]