Fertility Doctor Receives 15 Years Sentence for Strangling Wife and Staging Scene as Staircase Fall

A California fertility doctor was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison for fatally strangling his wife, whose body was discovered at the bottom of the stairs in a staged accident at their house in 2016.

Dr. Eric Scott Sills, 58, received his sentence this week after being convicted in December of one count of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Susann Sills, 45.

“Mr. Sills not only murdered his wife, but he also attempted to conceal his heinous crime,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer stated in a news release. “His actions have irreversibly ripped apart his family, and his children must deal with the enormous pain of losing their mother at the hands of their father. This was their father’s ultimate betrayal, and he will now spend his final days in state jail.

Fertility Doctor Receives 15 Years Sentence for Strangling Wife and Staging Scene as Staircase Fall

According to Law&Crime, the homicide occurred amid marital troubles. Prosecutors admitted they couldn’t prove Sills’ motive for killing his wife early on Nov. 13, 2016, but they presented a portrait of a troubled marriage.

According to The Orange County Register, issues included the defendant having to pay alimony from a previous marriage and the victim posting a topless photo after losing a chat room wager that Donald Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee.

“She is frustrated, upset, feels trapped, and feels like he is killing her,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker reportedly told jurors in opening arguments. “She tells him in these texts, ‘You are killing me, don’t you see?'”

Susann Sills died about 5 a.m., more than an hour and a half before her husband contacted 911 to report that he and their 12-year-old daughter had woken up to discover his wife injured at the bottom of the stairs following an apparent fall.

Fertility Doctor Receives 15 Years Sentence for Strangling Wife and Staging Scene as Staircase Fall

Both sides apparently contested the significance of Sills’ reference to Susann as a “patient” rather than his wife in the 911 call. Prosecutors interpreted this as him being unfeeling, while Sills’ defense attorneys claimed he went into “doctor mode.”

Prosecutors said that he purposefully mismanaged aspects of the initial treatment. For example, despite being a doctor, he purposefully placed his wife’s foot on the stairs to make a “connection to the stairway” despite the dispatcher’s request that he place her on a flat and hard surface for CPR, according to the LA Times.

Also, while first responders were on their way, Sills wasted time seeking a pulse oximeter rather than assisting his wife, according to the state.

“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,” Spitzer said in a statement following the jury’s verdict.

“Think of how evil you’d have to be to not only kill your wife but also make it appear like she had fallen down the stairs. It took careful planning to perpetrate this crime, and worse, he savagely and selfishly murdered the mother of their children, who are now without parents. I appreciate the jury’s decision, as well as the hard work of investigators and Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker in bringing him accountable for his heinous act.”

Susann Sills had been sleeping in her daughter’s bedroom that night due to a migraine. The couple’s 12-year-old son, who is twin to the daughter, reportedly told police that he awoke around 4 a.m. and heard his parents bickering, cursing, and screaming in his sister’s bed. According to the Los Angeles Times, he appeared to backtrack on that claim during his trial evidence.

Susann Sills’ balance was certainly harmed by the drugs she took during her migraines, according to defense counsel Jack Earley.

Fertility Doctor Receives 15 Years Sentence for Strangling Wife and Staging Scene as Staircase Fall

“None of this stuff was staged,” Earley told the Register. “None of this was planned. What happened was a terrible accident.

Earley said that the fall caused her spine injury, which hampered her breathing. He also questioned her neck injuries, stating that DNA from the family’s two large, friendly dogs revealed that they yanked on her scarf while she was asleep at the foot of the stairs, causing the injuries.

“I’m not blaming the dogs for anything,” Earley explained. “They’re simply dogs. They do exactly what dogs do. “They enjoy tugging on things.”

The prosecution dismissed this theory, claiming that the injuries did not fit this version of events. Instead, defendant Sills “squeezed the life out of” his wife during a heated dispute in their daughter’s room. According to investigators, there was blood on the drapes and wall that matched both couples, as well as a clump of Susann Sills’s hair.

“The blood and hair show this victim fighting for her life,” Walker allegedly stated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *