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Jefferson Co., Wisconsin vs. David Throm (Criminal Trial)


Throm is found guilty in death of girlfriend

By Steve Sharp
Daily Times staff

A 42-year-old Palmyra man was found guilty this morning of first-degree homicide and a charge of hiding a corpse by a Jefferson County judge.

David W. Throm was found guilty of killing his live-in girlfriend and hiding her body by Judge William Hue.

Hue convicted Throm of the two charges after listening to testimony throughout the week. Opening arguments got under way Monday morning and approximately 28 witnesses testified during the bench trial.

Following the conviction this morning, Throm’s bond was revoked and he was returned to the Jefferson County Jail to await sentencing.

No date for his sentencing has been set.

If a request is filed for a pre-sentence investigation, the sentencing date will be 45 to 60 days from now. If no request is filed, a sentencing date will be held within 30 days.

Throm faces life imprisonment for the death of Colleen Ann Wilke, 39, of Palmyra, whose body was found July 2, 2002, in a remote area about one mile west of County Trunk H on Marsh Road in the town of Palmyra.

Throm was later arrested in Minnesota when deputies responded to an emergency call at a wayside near Blue Earth, Minn. Throm apparently attempted to commit suicide as deputies found a suicide note in his car stating his girlfriend, Wilke, was dead. The note also indicated where Wilke’s body could be found.

Wilke and Throm were not living together at the time of the incident because they had recently broken off their relationship. Both were on the rebound from recent divorces.

Throm’s attorney, Maura McMahon of the state public defender’s office, pursued an involuntary intoxication defense relating to Throm’s prescription to Paxil, an antidepressant drug.

Prior to Paxil, walking away from a situation was Throm’s defense mechanism, McMahon told the judge. Dr. Andrew Schroetner, a psychiatrist form Watertown, testified by video that he had increased Throm’s dose of Paxil on June 7, 2002. Two weeks before Wilke’s body was found and Throm arrested, Schroetner decreased the dosage of Paxil and added a dose of Seroquel.

District Attorney David Wambach presented testimony in which Throm’s care provider described him as angry, wounded and ready to explode. During his opening argument, Wambach referred to a statement Throm had made to Wilke that she “should fear him.”

A Madison pathologist testified Wilke sustained a bruised heart, nine rib fractures, lacerated liver, fractured voice box cartilage and four separate areas of neck hemorrhage.

Several neighbors, friends and family members of Wilke’s testified, including her 14-year-old daughter.

Throm did not take the stand during the trial.