Doctor Who Claimed He Woke to Find Wife Dead Is Convicted

E. Scott Sills said he discovered Susann Sills at bottom of stairs in 2016
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2019 8:51 AM CDT
Updated Dec 20, 2023 2:00 AM CST
UPDATE Dec 20, 2023 2:00 AM CST

The Southern California fertility doctor who was arrested in 2019, three years after his wife was found dead at their home after he said she'd fallen down the stairs, was on Tuesday convicted of her murder. During the trial of E. Scott Sills, prosecutors pointed out the blood stains on a wall and curtains in the room where Susann Sills had been sleeping, and said a clump of her hair found there indicated there'd been a struggle, CBS News reports. They also said evidence showed she died by strangulation, NBC News reports. Sills faces up to 15 years to life behind bars when he is sentenced March 15.

May 3, 2019 8:51 AM CDT

When police showed up at the Southern California home of fertility doctor Eric Sills on Nov. 13, 2016, they encountered what appeared to be a terrible accident, per the Orange County DA's office: Sills' 45-year-old wife, Susann, was dead after an apparent tumble down the stairs. Sills said he'd woken up and found her that way. An autopsy and subsequent investigation, however, led authorities to eventually come to a different conclusion: homicide, with Sills as the suspect. NBC News reports he was arrested on his way to work on April 25 and subsequently charged with one count of murder. Authorities are so far keeping mum on the details of Susann Sills' death or on a possible motive.

In a statement given to People, the DA's office notes that "due to the unknown nature of the death," the homicide unit of the Orange County Sheriff's Department started looking more closely into how Sills' wife died. "After an extensive investigation," it was in November 2017 determined that Susann Sills' death was a homicide; the investigation persisted for another year and a half. Sills' father tells the Orange County Register his son's arrest is "shocking," and that "we ... are looking to see what comes out in the news just like everybody else." Per Susann Sills' obituary, the couple had twins, and Susann Sills also had two stepchildren, NBC San Diego reports. Sills was released from the Orange County Jail after posting $1 million bail. His arraignment is set for May 23. (Read about an infamous case involving a staircase.)

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