A Southern California fertility doctor was found guilty Tuesday for strangling his wife and trying to make it look like she accidentally fell down the stairs, prosecutors said.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said a jury found E. Scott Sills, 58, guilty of second-degree murder for the 2016 killing of his wife, 45-year-old Susann Sills.
On Nov. 13, 2016, Sills called 911 and claimed he woke up to find his wife’s lifeless body at the bottom of the stairs in their San Clemente home.
The district attorney’s office said evidence showed she died of strangulation, and blood stains were found in their daughter’s bedroom where Susann had been sleeping because of a migraine. A clump of her hair was also found in the room, which the district attorney’s office said proved there had been a violent struggle.
“Dr. Sills was sworn to care for the sick and injured and his chosen profession as a fertility doctor helped bring so much joy to his patients, but the woman he vowed to love in sickness and health was strangled to death by his own hands,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Think of how diabolical you have to be — not only to kill your wife but to make it look like she had fallen down the stairs.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Sills' defense attorney Jack Earley argued that Susann Sills had been struggling with her migraine for days and took painkillers, which could have made her disoriented enough to fall down the stairs. He also argued that the strangulation may have come from the family dogs getting loose from their kennels and tugging at a scarf around Susann’s neck, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sills was taken into custody after the verdict on Tuesday. When he is sentenced in March, he faces 15 years to life in prison.
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