Corn Rake Murder Trial: Todd Mullis sentenced to life in prison

September 4, 2020

BY COURT TV STAFF

UPDATED 9/3/20: Todd Mullis’ motion for a new trial and motion in arrest of judgement was denied. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole and ordered to pay victim restitution in the amount of $150,000.

 

UPDATED 8/28/20: After being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the sentencing hearing for Todd Mullis will be held on Friday, September 4, 2020 at 2:00pm ET. Court TV will carry the sentencing live. Coverage begins at 1:00pm ET.

UPDATED 03/16/20: Todd Mullis’ sentencing hearing, which was scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, in Delaware County, Iowa, has been continued until a date to be determined, according to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and Mullis defense lawyer Matthew Knipe.

Mullis faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole for killing his wife with a corn rake on their Iowa farm in November 2018 over marital strife. The court was expected to address a pending motion for a new trial and hear victim impact statements at Tuesday’s hearing.

>>WATCH: IA v. MULLIS TRIAL ON DEMAND

The decision was partly in response to an advisory order issued by Iowa’s chief justice over the weekend related to COVID-19 containment measures, Knipe said.

The advisory order (attached) gave courts discretion to “grant reasonable requests for continuances.” It states in part:

  • All criminal jury trials that have not commenced as of March 13 shall be continued to a date no earlier than April 20
  • For sentencing hearings, district courts may allow any party to appear by videoconference with that party’s consent

UPDATED 9/23/19: A jury has found Todd Mullis guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Amy Lynn Mullis. Todd Mullis will be sentenced at a later date.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

An Iowa hog farmer is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his wife.

Todd Michael Mullis, 43, is accused of murdering 39-year-old Amy Lynn Mullis on Nov. 10, 2018. Authorities say he killed his wife with a corn rake and left her body to be found by their 13-year-old son on their farm in Earlville.

Prosecutors claim Todd killed Amy after learning of an alleged affair she was having. The affair was the second time Amy had reportedly cheated on her husband, the first time being in 2013.

Amy’s friends and family reportedly told investigators the victim was planning to leave Todd, even telling them she feared he would kill her. One friend reportedly said Todd was so jealous and possessive, he would frequently text his wife wanting to know where she was. Another friend said she nicknamed Amy “POT,” which stood for “Prisoner of Todd.”

Todd told a different story to investigators. He claimed that although his wife’s infidelity shattered his trust in her and devastated him, their relationship at the time of her death was solid.

 

After Amy’s death, Todd reportedly told police she appeared dizzy the day she died, explaining she recently had surgery just days before. He said the last time he saw Amy was when he told her to go back to their house and lay down while he and his son continued working in one of their hog buildings.

Their son found her crouched body in a shed, with a corn rake impaled in her back. Todd reportedly removed the rake and carried her to the hospital, calling 911 on the way. She was pronounced dead at Regional Medical Center in Manchester.

Todd told police he believed Amy fell on the rake. An autopsy reportedly showed Amy had six puncture wounds, an injury that didn’t match up with the number of tines on the rake. The State Medical Examiner also said two of the puncture wounds were at an upward angle and four were at a downward angle. Her death was ruled a homicide.

An investigation reportedly uncovered suspicious internet searches by Todd. His cell phone and iPad records allegedly showed a search history of “organs in the body” four days before Amy’s murder. In the months prior, he reportedly searched for “killing unfaithful women,” “what happens to cheaters in history,” “what happened to cheating spouses in historic Aztec times,” and “thrill of the kill.”

Todd was arrested for first-degree murder on Feb. 28, 2019. He has since been jailed while awaiting trial. A judge granted a change of venue request, putting the trial in the neighboring county of Dubuque. Jury selection begins Sept. 16.

TIMELINE

Sept. 11, 2004: Todd and Amy marry. The couple goes on to have three children.

2013: Todd discovers his wife is having an affair.

2018

May: Amy becomes involved in another extra-marital affair.

July: Todd reviews his cell phone bill and notices text messages between his wife and a man he knows. Todd confronts both of them and they deny the affair.

Week of Oct. 14th: Amy tells a friend Todd has discovered her affair.

Nov. 5: Last time Amy sees her lover.

Nov. 10: Amy is found dead in the couple’s shed. Todd is interviewed by police.

Nov. 12: State Medical Examiner declares Amy’s death a homicide.

Nov. 16: Todd is interviewed by police for a second time.

2019

Feb. 28: A warrant is issued for Todd’s arrest. He is held on $5 million-dollar bail.

Sept. 16: Jury Selection begins in the the murder trial of IA v. Todd Mullis.

Sept. 23: A jury finds Todd Mullis guilty of first-degree murder.

 

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