Donna Cobb, 42, plunged a butter knife into Kevin Cobb’s heart in self-defence during a violent struggle at their home in Harlem, New York, on a night in November 2006.
Her husband was high on cocaine when he returned home at 3am and attacked her while screaming that he was going to kill her, the court was told.
Mrs Cobb said she grabbed the knife from a bedside table and ‘poked’ the father of her six children with it to stop his assault. She said she had no intention of killing him.
During her testimony at Manhattan Supreme Court, she said: ‘I just wanted him to stop choking me.
‘I didn’t think he was going to die. That was not my intention. I mean, I loved him.’
After describing the life-and-death fight, she sobbed: ‘I’m sorry.’
But prosecutors claimed that Mrs Cobb did not act in self-defence as the knife ‘poke’ was three-inches deep.
It was also argued that the conflicting accounts of the incident she gave to police was evidence of her trying to cover-up a murder.
Defence attorney Earl Ward disagreed and said the injuries sustained by Mrs Cobb were consistent with a violent struggle.
The jury took less than two hours to find Mrs Cobb, who works at Harlem Hospital, not guilty of murder.
Speaking to reporters outside court, her attorney said: ‘It was clear to the jury she was a battered woman.
‘There was evidence she was being choked. She had marks on her neck and he had scratches on his hands.
‘She was fighting desperately for her life.’
During the trial, the defence introduced witnesses who backed up Mrs Cobb’s account of the injuries she sustained before she killed her husband.
‘We brought in someone from her church, from her job, the two oldest kids, and they all corroborated the bruises and the black eye and the punctured ear drum,’ Mr Ward said.
‘This was a case that should not have been brought.’
Bizarely, when the case was intially covered in 2006, the murder weapon was erroneously reported as a ceramic elephant and not a knife.