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Spokane County man convicted of killing wife with ice cream

December 14, 2021 GMT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A jury in Spokane County has convicted a man of murdering his wife by lacing her ice cream with a lethal dose of hydrocodone.

David Pettis was convicted of grinding up and mixing the drug into a bowl of ice cream he gave to his wife Peggy Pettis, 64, on June 25, 2018.

The amount of pain medication was about 10 times what is considered a therapeutic dose, The Spokesman-Review reported.

Prosecutors said money and a rekindled love interest with a former girlfriend motivated Pettis, 60, to kill his wife. They presented jurors with proof of new life insurance policies taken on Peggy Pettis.

David Pettis leaned forward and bowed his head as soon as Monday’s verdict was read by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price. After the hearing ended, Pettis’ daughter, Elizabeth Culp, tearfully ran up to hug her father before he was taken into custody.


“I know my dad didn’t kill her,” Culp said through tears outside of court.

The Pettis family has been divided throughout the trial with Culp standing by her father while her brother, David Pettis Jr., testified he believed his father had something to do with his mother’s death.

Pettis will be sentenced on the first-degree murder conviction early next year.