|For Immediate Release
Case # 08NF0487
October 6, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
ESTRANGED HUSBAND FACES TRIAL FOR
1983 MURDER OF HIS WIFE AFTER
BEING LINKED THROUGH DNA
SANTA ANA – An estranged husband faces trial tomorrow for murdering his wife 26 years ago after being linked to the crime through DNA evidence. William Gregory Mordick, 63, Spokane, WA, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain. He faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009, at 10:00 a.m., in Department C-34, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On Jan. 22, 1983, Mordick is accused of driving to the Anaheim Hills home of his estranged wife, Katherine, with whom he had two daughters, ages 2 and 4 years old. The defendant is accused of being concerned that he was going to lose custody of his two daughters at a divorce court proceeding scheduled for five days later.
After arriving at the home, Mordick is accused of putting the two children in his car and going back inside the house. He is accused of murdering 29-year-old Katherine by slashing her throat. He is accused of leaving her body on the dining room floor and fleeing the scene. The victim was discovered the following day by a family member, who went to check on Katherine after becoming concerned when she didn’t return phone calls.
The murder was investigated and evidence was collected, including a blood sample provided by Mordick. The defendant later moved to Spokane, WA, with his two young daughters.
The case went unsolved for two decades until the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Task Force Review Aimed at Catching Killers, Rapists, and Sexual Offenders Unit linked Mordick to the murder through physical evidence at the scene using DNA technology that was not available in 1983.
Mordick was arrested 25 years after the murder on Feb. 6, 2008, at his Washington home. He waived extradition and was brought back to Orange County to face charges Feb. 21, 2008.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.