Zir Weems found guilty of first-degree murder, faces 25-to-life

Mar 18, 2016 6:24 PM by David McVicker

Zir Weems, the man accused of killing his wife in and mother of four, has been found guilty of first-degree murder. Weems faces a maximum sentence of 25-years-to-life in prison.

The jury deliberated for two days, but had to restart deliberations after one juror was dismissed Friday morning due to illness. A jury alternate was sworn in the and the jury restarted deliberation.

Weems, 29, was accused of killing his wife, Angelica Weems on Sept. 13th, 2014.

The trial had some tense moments.

At one point in the trial, Butte County Deputy District Attorney Stacy Edwards told the jury that Angelica Weems did not get the husband she deserved.

"She got a husband that ruled with an iron fist," Edwards said.

After years of physical and emotional abuse, Edwards said Angelica Weems had finally decided to leave her husband. But Weems, Edwards said, could never accept that. "She's dead because she dared," Edwards said. "She dared to dream (of something more.)"

Weems attorney, Eric Ortner, argued that the people's case was just too full of holes with vague accounts from witnesses about the state of Weem's mind on the day his wife disappeared.

Edwards described the actual time it took for Weems to strangle his wife, at least a minute. In front of the jury, she started her smart phone stop watch and let it run for 60 seconds while the courtroom went silent.

Weem's father testified during the trial. He told jurors his son and his daughter-in-law Angelica both went for a walk, but only his son returned. Angelica disappeared soon after.

Sheriff investigators presented forensic evidence, as well. Angelica’s co-workers at TJ Maxx in Chico also testified of Angelica's fear of her husband. The co-workers also testified to bruising on Angelica prior to her disappearance.

A forensic pathologist, Thomas Resk, testified earlier confirming she was strangled and her body was found with her clothes and jewelry in a shallow grave along the Sacramento River near Ord Bend.


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