clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

'Sleepwalker' convicted of murdering wife

PHOENIX -- A man who said he was sleepwalking when he stabbed his wife 44 times and held her head underwater in their swimming pool was convicted Friday of murder and could get the death penalty.

Jurors who convicted Scott Falater, 43, said they could not believe he could kill his wife, hide evidence and even bandage a cut finger without waking up. They said Falater's actions outweighed testimony from defense experts who said Falater probably killed in his sleep."He had such a short amount of time to do too much, and it just wasn't believable that he could have been sleepwalking," said juror John Merrill of Mesa, a worker at a tribal casino.

Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty. The judge will determine the punishment after a series of hearings later this summer.

"It's not over yet," Falater said as he left court. He showed no emotion as the verdict was read and did not look at the jurors.

Relatives of Falater's wife, Yarmila, did not attend the trial. Her mother said before the trial she did not want to be a part of the proceeding, prosecutor Juan Martinez said.