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20/20 to air story on Wilkie murder

For the second time this year, the murder of a woman in Henderson County will be the topic of TV newsmagazine story.

District Attorney Greg Newman said in a news release that ABC News had confirmed the a 20/20 story on the Shelby Wilkie murder will air Friday night at 10. Wilkie's husband, Michael Wilkie, was convicted of January of killing his wife and burning her body in the backyard. The size of a barrel fire drew the attention of neighbors who described seeing Wilkie frantically feeding a fire that rose 15 feet in the air.

An ABC News 20/20 producer advised the the D.A.'s office earlier this week that the story on Wilkie would likely air on Friday.

“We were aware that ABC had interest in this case as early as February,” Newman said in a news release. “The production team from ABC has actually been to Hendersonville and Asheville interviewing and filming on this story on several occasions, with most of their efforts focusing on the family of Shelby Wilkie and with Detective Sonya Matthews of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. The primary reason given to us by ABC for their interest in this case is to bring continued attention to the crime of domestic violence.”

“I appreciate ABC’s willingness to cover this case," he added. "Shelby Wilkie was a very nice person and we hope that something positive can result from this tragedy. Bringing attention to the dangers of domestic abuse may help save someone who watches the show and identifies with Shelby’s situation.”


This is the second time in less than a year that a murder trial of a husband accused of killing his wife has been covered on national television. CBS News's 48 Hours featured a program earlier this year on the Travis McGraw case in Polk County. McGraw was convicted of first degree murder for shooting his wife with a shotgun and, like Wilkie, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.