DUBUQUE (AP) — A jury Monday convicted an eastern Iowa hog farmer of using a corn rake to kill his wife, agreeing with prosecutors who argued he was enraged that she was having an affair.
Jurors found Todd M. Mullis, 43, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Amy Mullis. She was killed Nov. 10 on the couple’s farm about 40 miles west of Dubuque.
Jurors reached their verdict after deliberating about 7 1/2 hours over two days.
Prosecutors said Mullis had wanted to kill his wife for years and was irate she was having an affair and fearful that he’d lose their farm if she divorced him.
During the trial, Jerry Frasher testified he was having an affair with Amy Mullis, 39, and that she feared her husband.
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“I know she wasn’t happy,” said Frasher, a hog farm field manager. “She said she felt like a slave or a hostage around there. She said she was wanting (to leave Todd). One time, she said if he ever found out (about the affair) she would disappear.”
Mullis’ attorney suggested Amy Mullis startled someone in the farm’s shed where she was found, prompting that person to impale her in the back with a corn rake while Todd Mullis was working in a nearby barn.
A forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on Amy Mullis’ body testified she was impaled by a corn rake at least twice and possibly three times.
The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.