Holladay man sentenced to prison for killing wife with pickup

Published January 26, 2009 7:47 pm

Hearing » Defendant spends most of hearing trying to sway judge.
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A Holladay man convicted of killing his wife by running her over in 2007 spent most of his sentencing hearing Monday railing against the jury verdict and listing examples of evidence he claims exonerate him.

At the end of the 45-minute hearing, 3rd District Court Judge Deno Himonas sentenced 60-year-old Sherman Alexander Lynch III to 15 years to life in prison on first-degree felony murder. Lynch also was sentenced to one to 15 years for second-degree felony obstruction of justice. The sentences will run consecutively.

Lynch was found guilty in November 2008 of running over 64-year-old Patricia Rothermich with a pickup, killing her as she walked near their home on Oct. 3, 2007. He then tried to hide the truck, a jury concluded.

Prosecutors claimed during trial that Lynch's motive for the slaying was a $150,000 life insurance policy on his wife, and an affair with a woman who thought he was single but was beginning to suspect he was deceiving her.

Friends of Rothermich shook their heads in court Monday as they listened to Lynch try to sway the judge that he had no motive to kill his wife for money because their lifestyle was contingent on her income and that she was obviously worth more alive than dead. He also argued that it made no sense for him to try to kill his wife in the neighborhood where he lived, as he was aware of security cameras in the area. He also rambled about inconclusive DNA and injury evidence presented during trial.

Himonas had to stop Lynch twice during the hearing to remind him not to argue against the verdict but to focus on the sentencing.

Prosecutors also read two letters from Rothermich's adult children asking Himonas to put Lynch in prison for the rest of his life. Her son and daughter were not in court.

After sentencing, attorney Patrick Corum, who Lynch hired after firing his trial attorneys, said he would be filing an appeal for a new trial.

When asked by reporters if his client was unable to come to grips with the conviction, Corum replied, "You saw what happened in court. I think that's fair to say."

After the hearing, Olivia Moreton described her friend Rothermich as an incredible woman who should not be forgotten.

Moreton said she was satisfied with the sentencing but added, "Pat's not alive, so I don't know if there is justice."

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