A US hog farmer has been accused of murdering his wife by impaling her multiple times with a rake. However, he denies being responsible, claiming it was a freak accident.
Todd Mullis, 43, is on trial charged with the first-degree murder of his wife Amy, 39. Amy’s 13-year-old son found her body on their Iowa farm with a pitchfork-like rake embedded in her back.
Prosecutors say Todd was angry his wife was having an affair and that she wanted to leave him. He was also fearful of the potential financial impact of a divorce.
On Thursday (local time) the court heard that before Amy’s death, Todd’s iPad had been used to search for terms including “killing unfaithful women”, “organs in the body”, “what happens to cheaters in history” and “what happened to cheating spouses in historic Aztec tribes”.
And on Friday (local time) the court was played audio from the emergency phone call Todd made following his wife’s death. This allegedly included him whispering “go to hell you cheating whore”.
The man Amy was having an affair with, field manager Jerry Frasher, testified that Amy was deathly afraid of Todd.
“I know she wasn’t happy,” he said. “She said she felt like a slave or a hostage around there. She said she was wanting (to leave Todd)… she said if he ever found out (about the affair,) she would disappear.”
Her friends told police she was in a controlling and abusive marriage and had nicknamed her “POT Wife” – short for “Prisoner of Todd”.
However, Todd has denied responsibility for his wife’s death, testifying in court that she must have accidentally fallen backwards onto the rake and impaled herself.
He says that his wife was the one who made the internet searches, and during the emergency call he was whispering “she’s cold”.
His defence lawyer has argued that Todd has been wrongfully accused.
“I agree, it doesn’t make sense,” attorney Jake Feuerhelm said in court.
“But, ‘doesn’t make sense,’ doesn’t equate to Todd Mullis being guilty of first-degree murder.”