Charge Upgraded to 1st Degree Murder for Zearing Man Accused of Killing Wife

Gary Pillman (WHO-HD)

STORY COUNTY, Iowa – A Zearing man accused of killing his estranged wife earlier this month is now facing a charge of first-degree murder in the case.

Seventy-year-old Gary Pillman had originally been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 62-year-old Betty Pillman on November 13th.

A neighbor called 911 after Pillman came to their house and admitted he’d stabbed his wife and tried to kill himself. Investigators found the body of Betty Pillman in the yard of the Pillman’s home.

A criminal complaint in the case says Gary Pillman admitted to investigators he killed his wife, who had moved out of the home and was living in an apartment on the property, because she said she was leaving him.

Trial information filed Thursday reveals Pillman is now charged with first-degree murder. His arraignment has been scheduled for Dec. 2nd. He’s being held in the Story County County Jail.

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