CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio jury this week convicted a man of strangling his pregnant wife to death with a belt in 1985, in a case that was re-opened as a result of a 2009 arson investigation, a prosecutor’s spokesman said on Wednesday.
A Summit County jury convicted Scott Purk, 53, of murder and tampering with evidence on Tuesday after a six-day trial in Akron, said James Pollack of the Summit County prosecutor’s office.
Margaret Purk, 24, was nine months pregnant when she was found dead in the apartment she shared with her husband 30 years ago. A Summit County medical examiner originally ruled her death a suicide, Pollack said.
In 2009, Scott Purk was convicted of setting fires at his home in Stow, Ohio, about eight miles (13 km) north of Akron, and at the home of a neighbor. He is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence.
During the arson investigation, police re-examined Margaret Purk’s death based on interviews with neighbors, Pollack said. Authorities subsequently exhumed her body and a medical examiner ruled her death a homicide.
A police investigation determined that Scott Purk had strangled his wife with a belt and then made it look like a suicide.
He was indicted last year and his trial began earlier this month. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 24.
Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Paul Simao