Woman facing prison for exercise death

March 20, 2009 at 3:32 PM

CHARDON, Ohio, March 20 (UPI) -- A transgender woman is facing a possible prison sentence for exercising her 73-year-old husband to death in Middlefield, Ohio, authorities say.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer said Christine Newton-John was scheduled to be sentenced Friday for her role in the death of her husband, James Mason, who died of a heart attack in a pool at the couple's apartment complex.

Investigators said a June 2 surveillance video of the pool showed Newton-John preventing her husband from leaving the water a total of 43 times. Friends of the victim said he had a fear of water.

The Plain Dealer said Newton-John, whose age was not reported, was originally born a man named John Vallandingham.

After a 1993 gender reassignment surgery, Vallandingham changed his name in honor of singer Olivia Newton-John.

Newton-John and Mason, who had long been a friend of the Vallandingham family, married in 2006, the Plain Dealer said.

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