Decatur man who murdered wife denied parole

·1 min read

Jun. 9—A Decatur man convicted of murdering his wife, dismembering her body and burying it under a goldfish fish pond in the backyard of their Southeast Decatur home in 1984 was denied parole Wednesday, according to the Morgan County District Attorney's Office.

A release from the DA's office said William Stewart, 70, was denied parole after a hearing in Montgomery. In 1988, Stewart was sentenced to life in prison for beating his wife Debbie Stewart, a 31-year-old nurse, to death at their home where they lived with their three children. Stewart told police at the time his wife had abandoned them and was believed to be in New Orleans, according to reports.

After Stewart sold the house in 1987, Decatur police asked the new owners if police could excavate the fish pond, the release said, and the owners agreed. The woman's body was discovered in plastic bags, reports said.

Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson attended Wednesday's hearing and argued, "it would be unacceptable for any citizen of the state of Alabama to be required to live next door to a monster like Stewart." Stewart will be eligible for parole again in five years.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.