JEFFERSON - A Jefferson County judge began hearing the opening statements of attorneys this morning in the case of a Palmyra man who is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the killing of his girlfriend last summer.
Prior to the opening statements, Branch II Circuit Court Judge William Hue worked out details of the bench trial with attorneys for defendant David Throm, 41, of Palmyra and the state of Wisconsin. The trial is expected to last through the end of this week with Hue returning a verdict as early as Friday afternoon or as late as next Monday morning, March 3.
Throm is charged with killing his live-in girlfriend, Colleen Ann Wilke, 39, of Palmyra, last summer. He remains held on a $1 million cash bond.
Throm fled to Minnesota following the death of the woman and had apparently failed in an apparent attempt to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree at a rest stop along Interstate 90 near Faribault, Minn. Throm was also found with a suicide note that stated where Wilkes body could be found in a marshy area of Palmyra. The body was then recovered by Jefferson County authorities.
At Daily Times press time this morning, Jefferson County District Attorney David Wambach was making his opening statement to the court. Wambach said that the case before the court this week proves the old addage that themore things change, the more they stay the same.
Were in an era of lap-top computers, automobiles, and high-techweaponry, Wambach said, but he noted that Throms alleged crime harkens to mans more primitive period, when physical size and strength were more important.
Wambach explained, using a visual presentation including photos of Wilkes dead body, just how Throm went about killing her. Wambach noted that she sustained a cerebral hematoma, or fatal injury to her skull.
She died at the hands of David Throm, Wambach said, adding thatThrom had stated in days prior to the homicide that Wilke should fear him.
Wilke and Throm were not living together at the time of the murder because they had recently broken off their relationship.
The defense said today it plans to argue that Throm did not intend to kill Wilke and that his personality was affected by the mood-altering drug Paxil.