- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - A man authorities say strangled his wife after doing online research into how to kill someone has been convicted of first-degree murder.

A Skagit County Superior Court jury returned the verdict against William Rodgers Friday morning. The 52-year-old Rodgers was on trial for nearly three weeks. Prosecutors had said 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 wife, 48-year-old Sherri Rodgers, had fallen down a staircase near their garage and wasn’t breathing.

A tentative pre-sentence hearing date for William Rodgers has been set for Dec. 2. He faces up to 28 years in prison.

Friends and family, including Jeremiah Rodgers, 31, the defendant’s eldest son, were pleased with the verdict.

Judge John Meyer had asked those sitting in the courtroom’s gallery to keep outbursts to a minimum.

“I know this had been a very emotional time and it’s taken us a long time to get to where we are,” he said.

Defense attorney Craig Cahoon said an appeal is likely given the length of the trial and amount of evidence presented. But Cahoon said the decision would be up to Rodgers.

Information from the Skagit Valley Herald: https://www.goskagit.com/

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