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Calif. Fertility Doctor Sentenced for Staging Wife's 2016 Murder to Look Like Accidental Fall

Susann Sills died in 2016 due to strangulation and not a fall down the stairs

Eric Scott Sills/Twitter; Susann Sills/Facebook Eric Scott Sills (left) and Susann Sills
Eric Scott Sills/Twitter; Susann Sills/Facebook Eric Scott Sills (left) and Susann Sills

A California fertility doctor was sentenced to 15 years in prison last Friday for staging his wife’s murder to appear like an accidental fall down the stairs, authorities said.

Eric Scott Sills, now 58, was convicted last December of one count of second-degree murder in connection with the 2016 death of his wife and business partner, 45-year-old Susann Sills, according to a press release shared by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said Sills called 911 on Nov. 13, 2016, and claimed he woke up to find Susann dead at the bottom of the stairs after an apparent fall at the couple’s San Clemente home.

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Related: California Fertility Doctor Charged with Murder in Wife's 2016 Death From Apparent Fall

But evidence presented at trial showed that she died due to strangulation, and blood stains were found on a wall in a bedroom where Susann was sleeping, the release states. A clump of her hair also was found in the room, indicating that there had been a violent struggle between the couple, according to the district attorney’s office.

Sills was arrested on his way to work on April 25, 2019, authorities said.

<p>Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty</p> Eric Scott Sills

Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty

Eric Scott Sills

The couple worked together at the Center for Advanced Genetics, a Carlsbad, Calif., IVF & infertility clinic. Susann co-founded the clinic and Sills was the medical director.

According to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times, Susann Sills, mother of twins, was born in Philadelphia and was a graduate of South Fork High School in Florida. She attended George Mason University and received her MBA in International Studies from the University of Miami in 2000.

“Mr. Sills not only killed his wife but he went one step further and tried to cover up his horrific crime,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the release. “His actions have irreparably torn apart his family as his children have to grapple with the immeasurable pain of losing their mother at the hands of their father."

"This was the ultimate betrayal by their father and now he will spend his remaining days in state prison," Spitzer added.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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