Husband researches criminal defense strategies online before strangling his wife to death: Prosecutor

A Utah man accused of killing his wife reportedly researched criminal defense prior to her murder, and prosecutors allege the suspect was searching for way to evade of murder conviction after he planned out his wife’s killing.

Daily Mail reports that Curtis Ray Nichols, 35, claims he didn’t kill his wife, Robin, 35, but prosecutors allege that on August 24, he strangled her to death while in their Spanish Fork home. The couple’s children were in the home when the incident occurred.

Nichols called 911 himself at around 11 p.m. and said that his wife lying on the floor, cold to the touch, and not breathing. He stated that he went to Walmart and McDonald’s, and when he arrived back home, he found his wife unconscious.

Yet, detectives found what appeared to be scratch marks on the suspect’s forehead, indicating signs of injury. Further, after authorities sent skin samples under Robin’s fingernails for DNA test, a match came back to Nichols. He was subsequently arrested for the victim’s murder.

“He claimed to have sustained that injury when he banged his head on a kitchen cabinet or drawer as he was administering CPR to his wife,” the probable cause statement read. “However, he additionally was found to have scratch marks on his upper arms and dig or scratch marks on his lower left inner arm.”

Prosecutors now say that Nichols researched online how to beat a murder conviction shortly before his wife died. Authorities learned of his online activities when a librarian called them after seeing Nichols’ face on the news. She said the suspect used a public computer at the library for quite “some time.” The librarian gave the detectives copies of what Nichols printed, including information on “case law and extreme emotional distress defenses.”

“I believe there is information that Curtis may be researching a defense strategy or other ways to hinder, delay, or prevent the prosecution for crimes he has been charged with,” a detective noted.

The new information turned up after a judge granted Curtis a $100,000 bond. His family paid the bond in cash, and the suspect is currently free, but prosecutors are fighting to get him behind bars again, given the new information.

The judge defended his ruling. Nichols remains out on bail and scheduled for an upcoming court appearance on September 25. He’s facing murder charges and domestic violence charges in the presence of a minor.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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