Guilty of First Degree Murder.
That was the verdict of the jury in the Todd Mullis murder trial on Monday afternoon.
Mullis, a farmer from rural Earlville, was accused of fatally stabbing his wife, Amy, with a corn rake on their farm on November 10, 2018. He pleaded not guilty.
The jury of twelve – six men and six women – deliberated for about two and a half hours in the jury room just outside the Dubuque County courtroom on Friday afternoon before breaking for the weekend and returning this morning at 9 am. They deliberated for another five hours Monday, submitting a written question shortly before noon regarding the times of the Google internet searches that had been presented as evidence during the trial last week. “What does UTC mean? How is it impacted by Daylight Savings Time in Iowa? Does the time in the Iowa Google searches reflect that?” Judge Thomas Bitter called in the attorneys, along with Mullis via closed circuit TV, at 12:45 pm to address the jury’s question. The judge ruled there would be no additional evidence given.
The jury continued deliberating and it was announced they had come to a verdict around 2:15 pm.
It took about twenty minutes for everyone to get called into the courtroom. Mullis’ family entered the courtroom first, followed by a line of Dubuque County Sheriff’s deputies, court personnel and judges. Amy’s family filed in last, silently emotional as they awaited the verdict.
Mullis was then brought in the courtroom, followed by Judge Bitter and then the jury.
The jury foreperson handed the verdict to the court attendant, who then handed it to Judge Bitter, who read it aloud:
Mullis dropped his head when the verdict was read, slightly shaking his head and looking upward a couple times. There was quiet reaction throughout the courtroom – with visible tears from Amy’s family. You could hear a pin drop as everyone watched three deputies put shackles on Mullis’ ankles, waist and wrists and lead him away.
Neither sides – the Defense nor the State – chose to talk with the media after the verdict was announced.
Now that he has been convicted of First Degree Murder, Mullis faces life in prison without parole. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
photos courtesy of Telegraph Herald