Iowa Farmer Found Guilty of Killing Wife With Corn Rake
Todd Mullis was convicted of first-degree murder in the November 2018 death of his 39-year-old wife, Amy Mullis
A hog farmer in Earlville, Iowa, was found guilty Monday for the murder of his wife, who died in November 2018 after being impaled with a corn rake.
After two days of deliberating, a jury in Dubuque County convicted Todd Mullis, 43, of first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Amy Mullis, The Telegraph Herald reported.
The conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole, the outlet notes.
Amy was found on the couple’s farm with the tool in her back.
Police told PEOPLE in March that Amy’s death came not long after Todd learned she’d had a pair of affairs behind his back.
She had apparently warned that if her husband caught her cheating, “he might make me disappear.” She also was said to have told a friend that if she ever vanished, “you’ll know Todd did something to me.”
Todd had insisted to authorities that his wife fell on the sharp tool while she was helping out with chores on their land, PEOPLE previously reported. But medical examiners found six puncture wounds and noted the rake was four-pronged.
In trial, Dr. Kelly Kruse — the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Amy’s body — testified Amy’s cause of death was sharp-force injuries of the torso, The Telegraph Herald reported. Dr. Kruse said Amy was impaled at least twice and possibly three times by the corn rake.
Defense attorney Gerald “Jake” Feuerhelm had argued Amy was killed by someone else that morning while Todd and his 14-year-old son worked in a nearby barn, The Telegraph Herald reported. His son later found his mom hunched over in a nearby barn, impaled on the rake.
PEOPLE reported in March that Todd called 911 the day his wife died. He told police he removed the rake and started driving his wife to the hospital. At some point, they were met by an ambulance, who rushed Amy to the emergency room, where she was declared dead.
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Amy and Todd were married in 2004, and had three children.
As PEOPLE reported in March, through their investigation, police learned the couple’s marital problems began in 2013, when Todd caught Amy cheating.
Five months before the murder, they stopped sharing the same bed.
While Todd told detectives the relationship was fine, police eventually learned a second lover was discovered last summer.
That man — Jerry Frasher — testified in trial, The Telegraph Herald reported. He told police Amy had said she wanted to leave her husband but was “scared to death” of him, a Delaware County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told PEOPLE in March. “If he catches me, he might make me disappear,” she told Frasher.
A review of Todd’s iPad allegedly revealed searches for “organs in the body” as well as “killing unfaithful women” and “what happened to cheating spouses in historic Aztec tribes,” the spokesperson said.
The Telegraph Herald reported that Todd denied making those searches in court.
Feuerhelm told the outlet Todd would appeal the court’s ruling.