A 43-year-old Iowa hog farmer was found guilty on Monday for murdering his wife with a corn rake.
In November 2018, Todd Mullis told authorities his wife, Amy Mullis, had fallen at the family farm in Earlville, Iowa, CNN affiliate KCRG reported.
But Dr. Kelly Kruse, who performed the autopsy on Amy’s body, said the cause of death was sharp-force injuries of the torso.
“Homicide,” she said in her testimony, recorded by Court TV.
Kruse testified that she observed multiple puncture wounds throughout Amy’s upper body – including injuries which she believes came from a corn rake. She said the wounds indicated Amy had been punctured at least twice with the rake.
Prosecutors say Todd killed his wife to keep ownership of the family farm after discovering she was having an affair, KCRG reported.
One of Amy’s friends told the court that the mother of three had confided in her about her marriage and the affair. Her friend said she told her Todd didn’t want a divorce because he would “lose half of everything” and it was “socially unacceptable.”
“She wasn’t happy in her marriage and she hadn’t been happy for many years,” Patricia Christopherson told the court. She said Amy told her that Todd didn’t trust her and had also shared with her details about the affair, which she was having with their field manager.
Todd Mullis’s attorney, Jake Feuerhelm, told CNN the sentence in Iowa for this conviction is mandatory life without parole.
Jerry Frasher, the man Amy was having an affair with, also testified in court.
The two would text often he said, and began a sexual relationship in the summer of 2018.
They had talked about a “chance we could end up together,” he said.
When Todd took the stand, he answered questions about Google searches on his iPad which included phrases such as “killing unfaithful women,” “what happened to cheating spouses in historic Aztec tribes,” “was killing more accepted centuries ago” and “did ancient cultures kill adulterers,” the Telegraph Herald reported.
He denied making those searches, the outlet reported.
‘She felt like a slave’
Frasher told the court that when Todd Mullis found out about the affair, he confronted Frasher and Frasher’s wife.
Days later, Todd apologized to both of them and “said he should have handled it different,” according to Frasher.
Frasher also told the court he knew Amy Mullis wasn’t happy in her marriage and the two continued communicating via email after the confrontation.
She “said she… felt like a slave or a hostage around there,” Frasher said. He told the court she had told him she wanted to leave her husband.
“One time she did say that if he ever found out (about the affair), she would disappear,” he said.
Debra Scherbring, who worked with Amy, said she got a call in August 2018 from the woman, who was hysterical.
“(She was) crying hard and screaming and all frustrated,” Scherbring said. Amy asked her if there were any rumors going around at their workplace about an affair. Scherbring hadn’t heard anything, she told the court.
“She was crying that if her husband Todd would find out that he would kill her,” she testified. “She kept screaming that several times.”
CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report.