Jury selection begins Monday (04-05-10) for the trial of a LaClede County man charged with killing his wife then stuffing her body in a toolbox.
Prosecutors say that Horst Gunter Sabla, 55, allegedly shot Sharon Sabla in the back of the head at Thompson's RV Park in Lebanon on Aug. 9, 2008. Sheriff Richard Wrinkle says Sabla then "folded" his wife's body and stuffed her in a black plastic hinged tote toolbox and hid it in the garage of the family home.
According to the probable cause statement, a few days later Sabla filled the box with lime and concrete. Authorities won't say how long Sabla kept his wife's remains hidden in the garage before he eventually dumped the box off of AA highway--about six miles from the couples home.
Hunters found the plastic hinged toolbox on opening day of firearms deer season on November 15th, 2008, and smelled a foul odor emitting from the container and called 911. Authorities had to use bolt cutters to open the box, which was wrapped in chains and locked, to open the container. What they found inside was disturbing, the body of a woman that had been encased in several hundred pounds of concrete.
Laclede County Sheriff Richard Wrinkle
Authorities asked for help from the national media to help identify "the lady in the box." Their break came about a month later when a friend of Sharon Sabla's went to the Sheriff's department to say she hadn't seen or heard from her friend in some time.
Armed with that information, investigators obtained a DNA sample from Sharon Sabla's daughter, which came back positive.
The Sabla's were under a tremendous amount of financial stress at the time of the murder, they had recently lost their home and were living in a travel trailer. Some sources close to the investigation say that the Sabla's, were both HIV positive, and that Horst Sabla was tired of caring for his wife and wanted to return to his native Germany.
Laclede County prosecutor Angie Hemphill-Wright says that she expects the trial to last most of the week, "We have a lot of witnesses and DNA evidence that we need the jury to hear. Jon Morris will be the lead prosecutor for the case, and I will sit second chair."
Sabla's trial will be heard in Camden County where it was moved on a change of venue.