Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ninja Murder Case

Neil's Trial

It was January 1993—nearly three years after Stewart's conviction — that Neil Woodman went to trial. His defense would be the same as Stewart's: "my brother did it." Only this time the brothers would be pitted against each other in the same room as Stewart testified against Neil.

Neil Woodman
Neil Woodman

According to the Los Angeles Times, Stewart testified that Homick was told they had a "problem," to which Homick said he could "put an end." Stewart testified that he was close to his mother and had a problem "handling it" even though he did nothing to stop it. "We said we were going to go through with it," he testified.

Dixon also presented a witness who recounted how Neil talked about hating his father.

While the trial was still going on, NBC aired a four-hour miniseries based on the case. "Bloodlines" starred Mimi Rogers as Stewart's wife Melody, who had been paid $200,000 for her story, according to press reports. The story was told from her point of view and didn't portray Stewart in a sympathetic light. In the dramatized version, Melody gave up her lavish lifestyle and ended up working as a lounge singer to make ends meet. In reality, she started selling Cadillacs, Dixon said.

Despite the questionable timing of the movie and Stewart's confession, the jury failed to convict Neil, voting 7 to 5 in favor of guilt in their final poll. The Homick brothers, however, were convicted. Neil's wife, Maxine, told news reporters that she expected Neil to be acquitted.

 

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