On Friday morning, a Delaware County jury found a Westerville man accused of murdering his wife not guilty after more than a weeklong trial in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
The trial for Matheau Moore, 51, began on Aug. 16. Moore faced two counts of murder and one count of felonious assault in connection with the 2020 death of Emily Noble, his wife.
Moore reported Noble missing on May 25, 2020, and her body was not discovered until Sept. 16, 2020, when it was found in a wooded area near the couple’s home. Moore was arrested by Westerville police in June 2021 and charged with murder and felonious assault. He has been in the Delaware County Jail ever since. Throughout the case, prosecutors argued that Moore murdered his wife and staged her death to make it appear to be a suicide.
During his closing arguments, Delaware County First Assistant Prosecutor Mark Sleeper said Noble died of injuries to her face and neck and said there was “not (an) accidental explanation” for how they occurred.
“The evidence is clear, and it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Emily Noble did not die of suicide,” Sleeper said during his closing arguments. “Nothing to suggest she was suicidal. … the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that she didn’t do anything to herself. … the evidence shows that the defendant did hurt her. That her death was staged to look like a suicide, and the only person who would have done that is the defendant.”
Moore’s defense attorney, Diane Menashe, said in her closing arguments that the case wasn’t about whether it was suicide or homicide, the case was about whether or not Moore killed Noble.
“They want you to go into that deliberation and treat it like a movie or a puzzle,” Menashe said. “They want you to go into that jury room and talk about ‘did she kill herself’ or ‘did somebody kill her?’ That’s not what this case is.”
Menashe said the jury needed to discuss if the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Moore killed Noble, and she added the charges were not supported by the evidence and were “totally speculation.”
The jury began deliberating Thursday and concluded its deliberations Friday morning, when it delivered a verdict and found Moore not guilty on two counts of murder and not guilty on one count of felonious assault. Moore cried as the verdict was delivered.
Visiting Judge Stephen Wolaver presided over the case.
“(Throughout this trial) everyone has wanted justice for your wife, Emily. … I think the jury has said justice for Emily is not injustice for you,” Wolaver said.
Wolaver added he will be terminating Moore’s bond in the case after the verdict.
“You’re free to go,” Wolaver said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.