PLATTE CITY, Mo. — A Platte County jury has convicted a Parkville woman of killing her ex-husband 12 years ago after an 8-day-long trial.
Letti K. Strait, 59, was found guilty of first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence without parole, according Eric Zahnd, a Platte County prosecutor.
Police found Charles Cammisano, her ex-husband, shot to death inside his home on Sept. 1, 2007. His body was lying in a pool of blood and was covered by a blanket.
In the investigation that followed, police found out that the two had been arguing about custody of their four children and food stamps. Strait had claimed that she had custody of the kids in order to get SNAP benefits.
However, Cammisano was the one who had primary physical custody of the children. When he went to file for food stamps for himself, he was denied assistance because Strait had been collecting food stamp benefits for the children for more than two years.
Their 9-year-old later told police that he heard his mother say, “We have to kill him.”
Terry Strait, Letti Strait’s husband, also testified against her. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, saying that he waited outside Cammisano’s home while Letti Strait was inside, where she shot Cammisano to death, Zahnd stated.
“There are no words to describe a mother who inflicts a lifetime of loss on her own children,” Zahnd said in a statement. “Her venom toward her ex-husband was intense, and she ultimately gunned him down over some food stamps.”
Straight was convicted of fraud in 2011 for the false food stamp information. Both Straits were then charged for the murder in 2014. Letti Strait has been in Platte County custody ever since.
During trial, the jury heard from 39 witnesses and viewed more than 300 pieces of evidence.
“This was a complex and difficult case with little direct evidence connecting Letti Strait to the murder of her ex-husband. However, the circumstantial evidence proving her guilt was strong,” Zahnd said in a statement.
Strait will be sentenced on May 26, 2020 at 9:00 am.