A prominent San Clemente doctor has been found guilty of murdering his wife in a meticulously staged accident. Eric Scott Sills, a 58-year-old medical director at the renowned Center for Advanced Genetics, was convicted on one count of second-degree murder, leaving the community reeling with disbelief.
The tragic incident unfolded on November 13, 2016, when Eric made a distressing call to 911, claiming to have discovered his wife, 45-year-old Susann Sills, lifeless at the bottom of the stairs. However, the Orange County Coroner’s findings revealed a much darker truth – Susann’s death was not accidental but a deliberate act of violence.
Prosecutors presented compelling evidence during Eric’s trial, exposing the disturbing details of the crime. The injuries found on Susann’s face and neck were inconsistent with a fall down the stairs, pointing to a brutal strangulation. Bloodstains were discovered in their daughter’s bedroom, where Susann had sought refuge due to a migraine, indicating a violent struggle had taken place. The presence of a clump of hair further emphasized the intensity of the altercation between the couple.
Eric and Susann had been married for over a decade and were not only life partners but also business partners at the fertility clinic they co-founded. Their professional success and the joy they brought to countless patients contrasted sharply with the sinister reality of their personal lives. The motive behind the murder remains shrouded in mystery, but reports suggest that marital issues plagued their relationship. Text messages from Susann to Eric revealed her desperation and desire to escape the suffocating circumstances, with chilling statements like “You are killing me, don’t you see?”
Now, Eric faces the grim prospect of spending the rest of his life behind bars. With a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison, the sentencing hearing scheduled for March 15 looms as a pivotal moment for justice to be served.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer expressed his disbelief at the calculated nature of the crime, stating, “Think of how diabolical you have to be – not only to kill your wife but to make it look like she had fallen down the stairs.” The devastating impact of Eric’s actions on their 12-year-old twins, who are now left without their parents, adds an even more heart-wrenching dimension to this harrowing tale.
As the community grapples with the shocking revelation of a trusted doctor turned murderer, the case serves as a chilling reminder that darkness can lurk behind even the most seemingly idyllic facades. The trial of Eric Scott Sills will forever be etched in the annals of San Clemente’s history, a stark reminder of the fragility of trust and the depths of human depravity.