DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The field manager of an Iowa hog farm testified that a woman with whom he was having an affair told him last year she was deathly afraid of her husband — a man now accused of using a corn rake to kill her.
Jerry Frasher testified Wednesday in the trial of Todd Mullis. Mullis is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Amy Mullis on Nov. 10 at the farm about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Dubuque.
A prosecutor has said Todd Mullis was irate over the affair and fearful that he'd lose their farm if she divorced him.
The Telegraph Herald reported that Frasher said he began a sexual relationship with Amy Mullis in late May or early June last year.
"I know she wasn't happy," Frasher testified. "She said she felt like a slave or a hostage around there. She said she was wanting (to leave Todd). One time, she said if he ever found out (about the affair,) she would disappear."
Todd Mullis confronted him in July 2018 after a phone bill showed more than 100 instances of Frasher and Amy texting, Frasher said.
"I said it was about other stuff, like showing pigs," he said.
Todd Mullis called Frasher's wife asking questions about the text messages, and their discussion appeared to satisfy him, Frasher said.
"Two days later, he called us both back and apologized," Frasher testified. "He asked us to quit texting, and we did."
Frasher said he told Amy Mullis: "We need to slow down."
During cross-examination Frasher said he continued to provide professional services to the Mullis farm until Amy Mullis' death. He said Todd Mullis never showed any animosity toward him.
Earlier Wednesday, the forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on Amy Mullis' body testified that she was impaled by a corn rake "at least twice, possibly three times."
"The manner of death was homicide," Dr. Kelly Kruse said.