Case closed for Louisa woman dubbed 'Black Widow'

By Tara Morgan - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

AMELIA, VA (WWBT) - A high profile murder case that received expert analysis from the Smithsonian is now closed for good.

Ulisa Chavers, 62, dubbed the Black Widow, agreed to an Alford plea today in the death of her second husband. She was sentenced to 43 years.

This comes three weeks after Chavers was convicted in Louisa of killing her ex-boyfriend.

Prosecutors say the Amelia case hinged on four small facial bone fragments that were analyzed by a world renowned forensic anthropologist from the Smithsonian.

He determined this was a case of murder.

Ulisa Chavers may have thought she was getting rid of evidence by removing her dead husband's head. She was wrong.

"What she did not realize is that there were some tiny pieces of the cranium that were missing that she did not recover and were left behind," said Dr. Douglas Owsley.

The forensic anthropologist analyzed the four bone fragments.

Chavers' second husband, Clent, was found in a shallow grave behind his house in Amelia, 15 years after he was last seen by his daughter.

His remains were wrapped in bed sheets.

Dr. Owsley said more than a year after Ulisa Chavers buried Clent, she took his head off with a shovel.

But that wasn't what caused several fractures to the recovered face bones.

"You can not rule out a gunshot wound. Gunshot wound, small caliber, absolutely could cause that type of trauma - if it's blunt force trauma. Where as it's a blow, it's a heavy blow," said Dr. Owsley.

Severe trauma, Dr. Owsley said, that occurred at the time of death.

Ulisa Chavers claimed all along that Clent died of natural causes. She even told his family he was cremated.

All the while, she collected social security benefits from both Chavers and her ex-boyfriend Reginal Bowles totaling $180,000.

Last month, Chavers was sentenced to 30 years for killing Bowles.

"If Ms. Chavers could be characterized as a black widow and if her work can be characterized as a web it was ultimately unwoven here today," said Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney, Tom Garrett who was acting as special prosecutor in the Amelia case.

With the two cases combined, 62-year-old Ulisa Chavers received a total sentence of 85 years.

Clent Chavers' sister could not be in the courtroom today.  But prosecutors said she's very happy with the outcome of the case.

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