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Man charged with killing wife by running into her with truck

A man charged with killing his wife by hitting her with a white pickup truck made his first appearance in 3rd District Court Friday and was given a court-appointed lawyer because he is indigent.

Sherman Alexander Lynch, 59, is charged with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice. He is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail on $1 million cash-only bail.

A scheduling conference has been set in his case for Oct. 22.

Lynch is charged in connection with the Oct. 3 death of his wife, Patricia Rothermich, who had been seen by witnesses getting hit by a truck during a hit-and-run incident. Police found her lying by the side of the road near 2478 East Haven Lane in Salt Lake County. She later died in a hospital of blunt force trauma, according to court documents.

An autopsy report showed she died of injuries consistent with being hit from behind by a pickup truck, and her clothing showed white paint on her back.

Sherman Lynch told police he owned a white van as his only vehicle, that he was at Costco at the time this occurred, and that there were no problems in their marriage, court documents state.

However, a woman came forward identifying herself as Lynch's girlfriend and said she had been with Lynch when he bought a white truck, which detectives verified as having been purchased on Aug. 25. Other witnesses also said they had seen Lynch painting a white truck a week before Rothermich died.

Police on Oct. 5 found the white pickup truck, which had been parked in the garage of an abandoned house with plywood boards stacked to cover the front of the vehicle, court documents state. The truck had front-end damage on the driver's side, a mark on the hood that was consistent with having struck a person, and white paint residue on the grill that was similar to the paint on Rothermich's clothing.