Lead detective talks about evidence in Cannon murder

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Some people questioned how a Green Hills woman convicted Thursday in the death of her estranged husband had the physical strength to overpower him and strangle him.

A Nashville jury found Kelley Cannon, 43, guilty of first degree premeditated murder in the death of 44-year-old James Cannon.

One of the lead Metro detectives in the case, who is now retired, talked to News 2 Friday to break down the case and explain how she was the only suspect from the start.

Former Detective Brad Putman said, “He had blood coming from his nostrils and his mouth. He was laying on his right side, nude.”

That was among his first observations when he arrived at the Bowling Avenue residence on the morning of June 23, 2008.

Putman concluded the killer used gloves and used bleach to try to cover up the murder.

“I asked her… because when I'm talking to you, I'm also looking at your clothing, and I noticed there appeared to be a bleach mark on her left pants leg,” he said.

Latex gloves were found in a paper bag at her residence.

The investigation sampled area surveillance tape of a local Walgreens store recorded a few days before the murder.

“She walks around the store approximately eight minutes,” he said, “and on this tape, you see her pick up this box of latex gloves, then she exits the front of the store and walks right past the cashier and doesn't show that she paid for these gloves.”

Putman said all the evidence pointed to Kelley Cannon, but the most important evidence was that her DNA was found on the inside of a tip of the latex glove and James' DNA was found on the outside of the glove.

He added the clothing she had on also had his and her DNA. .

So what about the defense's case that Kelley Cannon was too petite to overpower her estranged husband?

Putman said Kelley went to medical school, so she would be familiar with the anatomy of the body, and having worked as a tech at a medical examiner's office, she would know how to move a body.

“I said the man [was] 5-6, 163 pounds which is not a really big man. She's 5-3, 100 pounds and yes it's obvious he was dragged into that closet, but we're not talking about a long distance.”

“But another thing that I would like to add: If this had been a stranger, why even move the body?” Putman said.

From the beginning, Kelley had denied she was involved in her estranged husband's death.

Her expression was unchanged as the guilty verdict was read Thursday afternoon.

Kelley Cannon will now serve 51 years in prison before she's eligible for parole.

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