LOGAN (AP) — A man whose estranged wife was found strangled in a septic tank last year was convicted Tuesday of aggravated murder and other charges in her death.
A Hocking County jury in Logan deliberated for about four hours before finding William Inman II guilty in the death of his 25-year-old wife, Summer. Authorities said she was abducted in Logan on March 22, 2011, then strangled with a zip tie and dumped in an underground septic tank behind a church in nearby Athens County.
The 27-year-old Inman also was found guilty of single counts of kidnapping, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse. Inman, who didn’t testify in his trial, could face the death penalty when he’s sentenced.
One of Inman’s attorneys had said in court that the state didn’t prove that Inman strangled the woman.
Inman’s attorneys, assistant state public defenders Jerry McHenry and Herman Carson, said Tuesday that they couldn’t comment on the verdict because of the judge’s gag order prohibiting comment outside of court.
County Prosecutor Laina Fetherolf said Tuesday that she also couldn’t comment. She said the sentencing phase, which begins Thursday, hasn’t been completed and there are still two more trials in the case.
Inman’s parents are also charged in the death and have pleaded not guilty. Their separate trials are scheduled later this year.
Inman’s mother faces 15 years to life if convicted of murder. Inman’s father faces a possible death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder.
Authorities said Summer Inman’s body — with a zip tie around her neck, her wrists bound with more zip ties and her purse still on her arm — was recovered from the septic tank of Faith Tabernacle Church on March 29, 2011, after her mother-in-law divulged the location to investigators.
Witnesses who said they were out walking in Logan the night of March 22 testified that they heard screaming and the sound of a stun gun from an alley next to Century National Bank, where Summer Inman had worked as an after-hours cleaning woman.
Witnesses said they saw two men in dark clothing standing, and a woman on the ground. One of the witnesses said the two men threw the woman into the back seat of the car, and the car took off.
The body was found about a week later.
Summer Inman had filed for divorce in June 2010 after six years of marriage, seeking custody of the couple’s three small children and accusing her husband of being cruel and neglectful, according to court records. She also said her husband threatened to kill her if she “took the children from him.”
Acquaintances had said that she was attempting to start a new life with her children away from her controlling husband and his father when she was killed.