Irvine, California — Dr. Eric Scott Sills, a fertility doctor in California, has been found guilty of strangling his wife, Susann Sills, to death following a tumultuous marriage. During the trial, prosecutors cited marital issues, including alimony payments from a previous marriage and a provocative photo posted by the victim, as factors contributing to the tensions in the relationship.
While the motive behind the killing remains unclear, Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker emphasized the strain in the marriage during her opening statements. Text messages presented in court revealed Susann Sills expressing feelings of frustration, entrapment, and being “killed” by her husband.
According to prosecutors, Susann Sills died in the early hours of November 13, 2016, before defendant Sills contacted emergency services. Prosecutors argued that the defendant intentionally mishandled the situation, visibly disregarding his wife’s well-being. They alleged that he placed her foot on the stairs to establish a false narrative of a fall, delaying proper medical attention. Furthermore, instead of aiding his injured wife, Sills wasted time searching for a pulse oximeter.
Following the conviction, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer condemned Dr. Sills for his actions, describing them as “diabolical” and “ruthless.” Spitzer expressed gratitude towards the jury, investigators, and Jennifer Walker for holding the defendant accountable.
The defense argued that Susann Sills’ medications for migraines may have impacted her balance, leading to the fatal fall. They also contended that the family’s dogs caused the injuries to her neck as they tugged on her scarf. However, the prosecution disputed these claims, referring to the injuries as inconsistent with the defense’s version of events.
Dr. Eric Scott Sills is set to be sentenced on March 15 and could face life in prison for second-degree murder.