Virginia Man Guilty of Murder in Wife's Antifreeze Killing

STAUNTON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man has been convicted of first-degree murder more than three years after his wife died of antifreeze poisoning.

The News Leader reports a jury found 69-year-old David Vatter of Verona guilty this week and recommended a life sentence.

Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin said during the trial that evidence showed Vatter and his wife, Shelby Vatter, were facing financial difficulties. He said David Vatter mistakenly thought his wife had a $70,000 insurance policy.

Shelby Vatter was hospitalized in March 2014 after becoming violently ill. She died three weeks later.

According to the newspaper, David Vatter showed no emotion except for a slight shake of the head when the verdict was read.

Defense attorney Mike Hallahan had theorized Shelby Vatter took her own life by drinking the antifreeze.

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