Iowa man found guilty of killing wife with corn rake

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG/AP) - UPDATE 9/23: (KCRG) Jurors in the murder trial of Todd Mullis have returned a guilty verdict in the case.

(KMCH Radio/Delaware Co. Sheriff)

Mullis, 43, is guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Amy, in November 2018.

Mullis was taken into custody by sheriff's deputies at the conclusion of the reading of the verdict.

Amy Mullis died on November 10, 2018, from multiple stab wounds to the back which investigators determined were from a corn rake. Todd originally told police that Amy had fallen at the family farm in Earlville, but Dr. Kelly Kruse, the state medical examiner, later ruled her death a homicide.

Kruse testified that she observed six puncture wounds on Amy's back, which she believes came from the corn rake. She said Mullis’s injuries indicate she was punctured more than once.

“Those four wounds went back to front, right to left, and downward. The leftmost also went back to front, right to left, but they went upward,” Kruse said.

Prosecutors alleged that Todd killed Amy in order to preserve ownership of the family farm after finding out about an affair she had. Defense attorneys pushed back, saying that there was reasonable doubt about who had killed Amy and that Todd would not value the farm so much that he would "murder the mother of his children."

In the end, jurors decided that the evidence supported a conviction.

Sentencing will be held at a future date. First-degree murder is a class A felony, punishable by a mandatory life sentence without a possibility of parole.

UPDATE 9/19: (AP) The trial of Todd Mullis, who is accused of using a corn rake to kill his wife, continued Wednesday.

The field manager of an Iowa hog farm testified that Amy Mullis, the woman he was having an affair with, told him last year she was deathly afraid of her husband.

Todd Mullis is charged with killing Amy Mullis on November 10 at their farm west of Dubuque.

Jerry Frasher said he told Amy Mullis they had to cool things after Todd Mullis confronted him about text messages Frasher exchanged with Amy.

ORIGINAL: (AP) A prosecutor says an Iowa man accused of using a corn rake to kill his wife was irate over her affair and fearful he'd lose their farm if she divorced him.

Testimony resumed Wednesday after opening statements for the trial of 43-year-old Todd Mullis. He's charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 39-year-old Amy Mullis on Nov. 10 at the farm about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Dubuque.

He claimed she accidentally fell on a corn rake, but prosecutors say medical evidence showed she'd been stabbed in the back with it. The Telegraph Herald reports Mullis' attorneys don't dispute that Amy Mullis was killed but say there is reasonable doubt about who killed her.

Prosecutor Maureen Hughes said Tuesday that Todd Mullis "had to find a way to keep that farm."

Defense attorney Gerald Feuerhelm agreed the farm was important to Todd Mullis, "but not so important that he would murder the mother of his children."