Woman sentenced to 35 years, $10,000 fine for husband’s murder

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Karla Chapman and her attorney. (Photo: WHNT)

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Karla Gaye Chapman has been sentenced to 35 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the murder of her husband.

Chapman was convicted of murder in the death of her husband, Jonathan Eliff, in March 2014. During the trial, she testified that stabbed Eliff during an argument after he threatened to kill her.

Prosecutors said Chapman gave slightly different answers during cross-examination. They questioned Chapman why she didn’t explain it was self-defense right away.

Chapman testified she was in shock, but she did eventually tell investigators what happened.


  • Joe

    This guy had a previous history of domestic violence! He had previously beat her with a ball bat! He tried to kill her with the same knife that killed him! This was self defense! She did the same thing that anyone would have done. She had a chance to grab the knife that was knocked out of his hand, then she used it to defend herself against this low class thug that just so happened to be a cops brother. He got what he had coming ! She has been railroaded by the cops and the court system !!!! Where is justice anymore ? Crooks in the system!!!

  • Christy

    It was not self defense!!! This women has a long history of stabbing the men she is with. She beat Jonathan with a baseball bat while he was asleep, breaking his ribs. Her nickname is CRAZY, and that is because she really is crazy… She would get extremely messed up, even before noon. After killing Jonathan, she chased her next boyfriend with a knife, and she started seeing that guy just a couple days after killing Jonathan. Her stories in court were not slightly different, they were totally different. As a tax payer, I should not have to pay for this ungodly individual to sit up somewhere with free room-n-board. She should have been sentenced to death. She has done this 4 times before Jonathan and 1 right after his death. This woman should not have even been walking for 4 yrs. after what she done. This country needs to go back and just start hanging again for a person with her kind of past history.

    • Joe

      Jonathon was the crazy one! He beat her with a ball bat and he had a lon arrest record, even though he several realtives that in law inforcment that covered up a lot of his wrong doings! This lady was defending herself! The system is corrupt! Too many crooked people in law enforcement and all other areas of governemnt! Not all are bad guys but this lady got railroaded right there in the same county where her crazy husband ‘s brothers are cops!
      Christy, sounds like you’re a relative of his too! He had attempted to kill her several times before and he was attempting it again! More people need to stop people in their tracks like she did when they are abusive and threatening to kill! This would make more people stop and think before thay beat on a woman!
      No man should ever hit a woman! If he does, he should be shot on the spot or hanged… like you said Christy.

  • Deborah Pellem

    Thank you Joe, You are right, the system is corrupt! She should never have been tried here in Madison County. Christy it sounds like you need to get your lies straight! If you can’t tell the truth then shut up.I know for a fact Jonathon Elliff beat Karla with a baseball bat. We have pictures to prove it. Let’s also get our stories straight. Jonathon came back to that house that night with only one thing in mind to hurt Karla, he was legally drunk and he had so much cocaine and alcohol in his system that he was out of his natural mind. Cocaine is a mind alternating drug. When this was brought up in court, it was swept under the carpet never to be spoke of again!! WHY?!?! Because this woman decided to fight instead of dying, she is given 35 years in prison. She did nothing anyone else would have done in her situation. This woman has helped so many people. Kids, that their parents were too busy doing drugs and alcohol and didn’t want to be bothered with them, she gave them a place to stay, food to eat and if needed, clothes on their backs.It is a fact that Jonathon was a dead beat DAD, in and out of prison, (for cooking Meth in a Huntsville motel, got caught 2 times) all of this is general knowledge that can be confirmed by anyone. It is really hard for a parent to have to admit that their child is bad, but his family was embarrassed about his conviction and didn’t have a lot to do with him. I’m so sorry for their loss, I could never imagine losing a child no matter what their age. When you try to kill someone after you have told them many times that you were going to kill them what do you expect them to do? It really isn’t fair to tell just one side of the story. If you want to know the truth then contact me. I know the truth of the matter. Christy, my daddy always said, IT IS BETTER TO BE THOUGHT A FOOL, THAN TO OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND RELIEVE ALL DOUBT! GET YOU STORIES STRAIGHT!! HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!

    • christiena2014

      You only know Karla’s story. Start from the beginning where Pickle brought her to Alabama because she stabbed her last husband. Then went on to try in stabbing Pickle and then went to Jackie, whom she also stabbed. The pictures in court showed her ear red. And if you were paying attention, and as witnessed, my husband and I, Karla came in messed up, grabed the bat and went into the bedroom where Jonathan was asleep, and hit him, breaking his ribs, he tried grabbing the bat, but being half asleep and in pain, when she yanked it, it flew back hitting her ear. Her ear being red was the only picture of her showed in court, except the night she killed him, and the other was a scatch that Tonya gave her while them two were in a fight the same night. Karla has a history of stabbing men. 5 total to be excact. The only history Jonathan has is drugs, same as KC. I know every single one of his Ex’s, since middle school, my sister included, and have constantly been around, and he has NEVER, hit, abused, nor has a record of anything of the sort. Just because you were friends with here doesn’t mean anything. Apperantly you don’t know her history. If you did, you would know she is suposed to be on meds for Bi-Polar, but got cut off because of her drug abuse and alchoholizem. I’ve watched her beat the crap out of Jonathan and him just run. Not to mention chasing him with a knife before, at Goose Pond, and just a day after their wedding. And the night she killed him, she threatened him earlier that day with the same knife. And she was all messed up. His clothes were packed and he was trying to leave. And if you would have stayed every single day through the entire trial, you would have seen her lie on the stand 4 times, and not the same lies she told in questioning.

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