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DETAILS: Todd Mullis sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife with a corn rake

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Todd Mullis sentencing

WATCH: Todd Mullis of Delaware County has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty of killing his wife with a corn rake. https://kwwl.com/2020/09/04/todd-mullis-to-be-sentenced-after-jury-found-him-guilty-of-killing-his-wife-with-a-corn-rake/You can read more coverage from the trial here: https://kwwl.com/2019/09/23/mullis-guilty-killing-wife/

Posted by KWWL on Friday, September 4, 2020

MANCHESTER, Iowa (KWWL) -- A Deleware County Judge sentenced Todd Mullis to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday.

In 2019, A jury found him guilty of killing his wife with a corn rake on their Earlville farm in November of 2018.

The sentencing hearing has been delayed four times because of the COVID-19 pandemic and Mullis getting new lawyers.

Before being sentenced by Judge Thomas Bitter, Mullis proclaimed his innocence.

“This is supposed to be America where you have a fair chance of proving your innocence," he said. "I thought it was innocent until proven guilty. I feel this was the other way around."

After the sentence was announced, the family of his former wife, Amy Mullis, could be seen huddled in the corner embracing one another.

"Fortunately today we were able to get across the finish line and get justice for Amy," Deleware County Prosecuting Attorney John Bernau said. "Hopefully, this is going to provide some closure."

Bernau and his wife knew the Mullis family personally.

"My wife had worked with Amy, I'd gone to her 30th birthday party out at their farm," he said. "She was a kind woman."

For Bernau and the prosecution, it has been a long time coming.

"This file has been open on my desk for a long time, and I am looking forward to having it closed," he said. "I feel terrible for her family. It is terrible to lose a child under any circumstance, but to lose it to somebody who, at one point said 'I will love, honor, and cherish your forever,' to turn around and do something like this, is truly horrific."

During Friday's sentencing hearing, defense lawyer Aaron Hamrock argued for a new trial. He also alleged misconduct by Iowa Assistant Attorney General Maureen Hughes and said Mullis did not have adequate legal representation.

Hamrock said Hugh committed misconduct while playing a 911 audio recording for the jury in which he could allegedly be heard saying ‘Go to hell, cheating whore.'

Hamrock said that is not what Mullis said, and Hughes' continued insistence he did throughout the trial "tainted the jury."

Bernau said the jury was able to decide for themselves what they heard on the tape.

"The jury, in the end, determined they were not going to rely at all on the tape because some heard what we said, others heard something else, and some did not hear anything," he said. "And so doing their job, they just decided to throw it out completely."

Therefore, Bernau said it had no bearing on the juries decision.

Hamrock also said Mullis' previous attorneys did not tell him that he could refuse to testify. They also ignored Mullis' orders not to concede that Amy Mullis' death was due to homicide since Mullis had always said it was an accident.

"You want to talk about a miscarriage of justice, this is it," he said.

Judge Bitter denied both motions. The claims of inadequate representation will likely form the basis for a future appeal.

Mullis and his lawyers have 30 days to file an appeal, something Hamrock said they would do.

You can read more KWWL coverage from the trial here.

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Daniel Perreault

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