PASCO -- Tashia Stuart appeared to research probate law in Washington and travel plans on the internet the day before her mother was shot, according to court testimony Friday.
Her estranged husband, Todd Stuart, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly plotting with his wife to kill her mother, Judy Hebert, for the inheritance.
Todd Stuart, 49, is accused of plotting to help kill Hebert less than a month before her actual death, when a bin of books fell on her head. He had left for California when Hebert was shot dead in her home March 3, 2011.
Tashia Stuart is charged with first-degree murder with aggravated circumstances in the shooting and is claiming self-defense.
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She goes to trial next month, but much of the testimony as the prosecution built its case in Todd Stuart's trial Friday in Franklin County Superior Court in Pasco was about her actions.
Three computers and several flashdrives were collected by detectives from Hebert's home, where her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter had moved in two months before her death.
They showed that in February, someone signed into a computer under Tashia Stuart's user name and opened different versions of Hebert's will and power of attorney, according to Benton County Detective Larry Smith, the computer forensics expert in the case.
That was shortly after a 32-pound bin of books fell on Hebert's head in the garage Feb. 20.
Less than two weeks later, in the early morning hours of the day before Hebert was shot, Tashia Stuart's user name was logged into a computer as internet searches were done on Washington probate law, including the law that applies to lost or destroyed wills. The same website was first visited Feb. 22, two days after the bin of books dropped on Hebert.
In the same March 2 internet session that probate law was researched, hotel sites and a map of Springfield, Ore., were visited.
In opening arguments Thursday, Prosecutor Shawn Sant said he planned to show that Todd Stuart's departure from Pasco was part of the murder plot. The couple feared that they would be linked to the bin of books incident and that if Todd Stuart left town Tashia Stuart could set up a crime scene and claim self defense, Sant said.
However, defense attorney Jeffery Robinson of Seattle said he would show that Todd Stuart left town because his marriage was falling apart and that his estranged wife acted alone in allegedly killing Hebert.
Evidence collected from Tashia Stuart's bedroom in a search after Hebert's shooting included copies of a handwritten will and a living will for Hebert found under Tashia Stuart's mattress, said Pasco detective William Parramore.
Parramore also found a sketch of what appeared to be Hebert's garage on shelves in Tashia Stuart's room, he said.
Forensic pathologist Daniel Selove also testified Friday about Hebert's autopsy.
Hebert, 58, was shot twice. One wound to the chest was superficial, but the other one killed her, he said.
Her left thumb also appeared to have been hit by a bullet, possibly when she lifted her hand in front of her chest, he said.
He also described several other injuries, including a cut of almost two inches to the back of her head and small cuts and scrapes on her face and neck. Those injuries could have happened anytime from within a few hours of the shooting to the time of her death, he said.
He also found her scalp was bruised behind her left ear, he said.
The trial will continue Monday and is expected to conclude midweek.