Curtis Ray Nichols claims he returned home from Wal-Mart and McDonald’s on the night of Aug. 24 to find his wife unconscious and not breathing on the kitchen floor of their Spanish Fork home.
At 10:56 p.m., he called 911, but paramedics found Robin Nichols unresponsive and cold to the touch. They noted she had injuries to her neck.
The 35-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a hospital. An autopsy showed she died from strangulation, police have said.
On Wednesday, Curtis Nichols, 35, was charged in 4th District Court with first-degree felony murder and other counts.
Despite Curtis Nichols’ claim of coming home to discover his wife’s plight, his DNA was matched to skin cells found beneath the fingernails of her right hand, charges state.
Furthermore, Curtis Nichols had scratch marks in his upper arms, and dig or scratch marks on his lower left inner arm.
He also had injuries to his forehead that appeared to be scratch marks, but he claimed those injuries came from banging his head on a kitchen cabinet while trying to administer CPR to his wife, charges state.
Charging documents say there was no sign of an intruder in the home, located at 952 E. 1050 South, and the couple’s three children, ages 7, 5 and 2, were in an upstairs bedroom when police arrived.
In addition to murder, the man was charged with three counts of third-degree felony domestic violence in the presence of a child.
He was arrested and booked into the Utah County jail on Aug. 24, but was released two days later after posting $100,000 cash bail.
An initial court appearance was set for Wednesday afternoon.
The couple had lived in Spanish Fork for two years, according to police, who said no officers had responded to the residence during that period.