- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - A former teacher who prosecutors say did online research into how to kill someone has been sentenced to more than 26 years in prison in his wife’s 2012 death by strangulation.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports (http://is.gd/6YMQE1 ) that a county judge imposed that sentence Monday on former Stanwood Middle School teacher William Rodgers in the death of his wife, Sherri Rodgers.

He was convicted in October of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors had said the 52-year-old Rodgers performed Google searches on “how to break a neck” and “how dangerous is it to fall down stairs” on the day before his wife died.

Rodgers called 911 on May 28, 2012, to say his 48-year-old wife had fallen down a staircase and wasn’t breathing.

He spoke for nearly 50 minutes Monday, denying he committed intentional or premeditated murder and saying prosecutors twisted his story.

The defense had said the woman died trying to escape an attack by her husband after he experienced a flashback tied to post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Information from: Skagit Valley Herald, http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com

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