Before my arrest, when I would read the newspaper, or see stories online about people committing murder, I would think, “an eye for an eye”, and “thank goodness I live in a state where the death penalty is legal.” But, little did I know these thoughts would come back to haunt me when I myself was arrested and facing capital punishment for a crime I did not commit!
It all started when my wife didn’t come home from grocery shopping one afternoon. She was the love of my life, and we were expecting our first little girl together. When she didn’t come home that night, I immediately knew something was wrong. Just like any concerned husband and soon-to-be father would be, I called the police to file a missing persons report.
From the start, law enforcement labeled me as a suspect. I guess I couldn’t blame them. I’ve always heard that the people closest to someone are usually the top suspects. However, things took a turn for the worst when weeks went by and my wife was nowhere to be found. The police were anxious to make an arrest, because at this point, they figured she had to be dead.
Out of nowhere, I was arrested when I got home from work one day, and the police told me they had DNA evidence linking me to the crime. I asked them if they had found my wife, and if she was safe. They told me they still hadn’t found her, but they knew that I had to have killed her and our unborn child.
They argued that I must have hit her with a bottle of wine from my collection they claimed was missing. I tried repeatedly to explain that we had given the wine as a gift to my wife’s boss, but since the boss didn’t remember having received the bottle, they assumed I was lying.
I was given a public defender since I couldn’t afford to hire an attorney outright. I remembered hearing this attorney at Chicago Trusted Attorneys say once that if police don’t have probable cause to arrest you, you may be able to avoid being convicted. I relayed this information to my public defender who then went before a judge to plead our case. Since the case against me was purely circumstantial, the judge decided to dismiss the charges against me.
Later, I hired a private investigator to look into my wife’s disappearance. As it turns out, she had been having an affair with her boss and our child was actually his. When she told him, he panicked and killed her, burying her body in the woods behind his home.
While I am grateful to have avoided being convicted of a crime I didn’t commit, I am left to this day wondering what life would have been like if things had been different, mourning the loss of the wife I loved so much and the little girl I thought I was going to be a daddy to.