An investigator said this morning that Todd Mullis' internet history included searches for information about infidelity, historic punishment of cheating spouses and the placement of the organs of the body.
Travis Hemesath, a deputy with the Delaware County Sheriff's Department, testified this morning to kick off the third day of testimony in the murder trial of Mullis, 43, of Earlville. Mullis is accused of fatally stabbing his wife, Amy Mullis, with a corn rake on their farm on Nov. 10.
Hemesath testified that, after her death, he executed search warrants that resulted in the seizure of all electronic devices found at the Mullis home.
After executing another search warrant with Google, he reviewed 700 pages of Google search history associated with Todd Mullis’ iPad.
The search history covered Dec. 25, 2017, to four days before Amy Mullis’ death included searches for topics including “was killing more accepted centuries ago,” “characteristics of cheating woman (sic),” “did ancient cultures kill adulterers,” “the thrill of the kill” and “once you hunt man you will always feel the thirst.”
Hemesath testified that the iPad was the possession of Todd Mullis and that other searches included ones for Jerry Frasher and the field manager’s wife.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Gerald “Jake” Feuerhelm noted that the search history received from Google also included queries about designing wedding rings and bridal shops.
“You’re telling the jury that Mr. Mullis is looking for wedding rings, or is it possible somebody else could be doing these searches?” the attorney asked.
“It’s possible but not probable,” Hemesath said.
Hemesath also reported that he conducted at least 30 interviews while investigating the case.
Also on the witness stand this morning was Jon Turbett, a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. He testified that when he confronted Todd Mullis during a Nov. 16 interview with a medical examiner’s finding that Amy Mullis’ death was a homicide and that Todd Mullis was the suspect, the hog farmer remained unemotional.
“The most I get from him is, ‘How? What evidence do you have?’ He never denied killing Amy," Turbett said.
Mullis never instructed Turbett to look for anyone else who could have killed his wife. Turbett said Mullis’ reaction was “very unemotional, very flat.”
Earlier during Turbett’s testimony, prosecutors showed jurors a video clip of a Nov. 16 interview between the special agent and Mullis.
Mullis initially characterizes his wife’s relationship with Jerry Frasher, a field manager for the Mullis farm, as being strictly businesslike. After the special agent leaves the room and returns with drinks of water, Mullis admits he confronted Frasher and Amy separately about a large number of text messages between the pair.
The trial will resume after a lunch break with prosecutors expected to show a video clip of an interview between Turbett and Todd Mullis.