Doctor Convicted of Strangling Death of His Wife After Saying She Fell Down the Stairs

(NewsReady.com) – Statistics show that approximately one-third of women experience violence from an intimate partner in the US. That means millions of women are impacted every year. A California doctor has now been convicted of murdering his wife.

An Orange County jury has found 58-year-old Eric Scott Sills guilty of second-degree murder. The charge stems from the death of his wife, 45-year-old Susann Sills, in 2016. According to reports, on November 13 of that year, Sills called 911 and reported that he woke up and found his wife’s lifeless body.

Sills told investigators that his wife fell down the stairs while suffering from a migraine. He then said the couple’s dogs tugged the rayon scarf on her neck. A recording of the doctor’s 911 call was played for jurors in the Orange County Superior Court. The Los Angeles Times reported that he told the dispatcher, “I think she tripped because it was dark.”

More than two years after Mrs. Sills’ death, prosecutors charged the doctor, who runs a fertility clinic. Two pathologists ruled she’d died from strangulation, not falling down the stairs. Deputy Dist. Atty. Jennifer Walker said that Sills killed his wife during an argument and then tried to cover up the crime by placing her body at the bottom of the staircase.

When the first responders arrived, her foot was on the staircase. Prosecutors said that the doctor had been instructed to lie her flat on the floor for CPR but said he left her foot there because he wanted to connect her death to the stairs. Then they accused him of trying to clean up the crime scene but said he missed blood splatter on the curtains.

The couple’s teenage son, Eric, told police that he heard his parents arguing before her death. However, the 19-year-old didn’t testify to that on the stand. He retreated from it instead. Prosecutors also debunked the allegations that the dogs strangled Mrs. Sills, saying it would have taken 10 minutes and her scarf had no tears or holes.

Sills’ sentencing is scheduled for March 15.

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