ESTRANGED HUSBAND FACES TRIAL FOR 1983 MURDER OF HIS WIFE AFTER BEING LINKED THROUGH DNA

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 08NF0487


 


 
September 15, 2010

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

ESTRANGED HUSBAND FACES TRIAL FOR 1983 MURDER OF HIS WIFE AFTER BEING
LINKED THROUGH DNA

 

SANTA ANA – An estranged husband faces a re-trial today for murdering his wife 27 years ago after being linked to the crime through DNA evidence. William Gregory Mordick, 64, 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 today, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The previous jury could not come to a verdict on Nov. 9, 2009.

 

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 TracKRS (Task Force Review Aimed at Catching Killers, Rapists, and Sexual Offenders) Unit investigated the case. Mordick was linked 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.


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