Claudine Longet and Spider Sabich
On Jan. 11, the media got what it was waiting for: Claudine Longet took the witness stand. Attorney Weedman gave her the handgun and asked her to describe the shooting.
She began, "I picked up the gun and walked toward the bathroom, saying to Spider, 'I would like you to tell me about this gun.' I kept walking and I had the gun in my hand."
Longet said she asked Sabich whether the gun was safe, and they exchanged a few words about the safety switch.
"He said, 'Yes, it' s safe.' I said, 'It won' t fire?'
"He said, 'You've got it.'"
At that instant, she said, the gun went off.
Longet began crying as she described how Sabich staggered against a wall and held his abdomen.
"Spider called my name three times and he sort of slid down," she said. "I told him to try to make it, to talk to me. He was fainting. I tried to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but I didn't know how."
Weedman asked Longet to describe her relationship with Sabich.
"Spider and I loved each other very much," she said. "I think we were the very best of friends. There were times over four years when we disagreed on things. We would have small arguments... But above all, we were the very best of friends and loved each other very much."
In his closing statement, Weedman returned to the gun testimony and to Longet's professed love for the man she killed.
"If there's any evil in this town," Weedman said, "it was the evil of the gossip about the relationship between Spider and Claudine... Not one single loud-mouthed gossip was able to come here and tell you anything bad about this relationship. For that, there should be some shame in this community."