Blood at scene pointed to William Gregory Mordick's guilt.
After 27 years and a second trial, the 64-year-old was found guilty this week of first degree murder of his estranged wife, Katherine O'Connell Mordick, who was 28 when she perished.
The woman's body was found with her throat slit in her Anaheim Hills home on Jan. 23, 1983. Mordick now faces a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in state prison.
The swaying piece of evidence which brought jurors to rule Mordick guilty was the DNA evidence of his blood scattered throughout the house. It took the jury only two days to deliberate before the decision was read Wednesday morning.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner had proven to jurors that Mordick picked up his young daughters to take them a birthday party, left the 2 and 4 year olds in the car, went back inside the house and slashed Katherine's throat.
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He went on to raise his motherless daughters in Washington state before he was arrested in 2008, when authorities discovered forensic evidence found at the scene 25 years before linked him to the murder. He was then taken into custody and waited 2 ½ years for this week's verdict.
Evidence of Mordick's blood inside the house was the crucial factor in the outcome of the trial. Blood was found on a closet doorknob, a bag inside the closet, a bathroom sink and rear door drapes. However, the most important piece of evidence was a blood smear found on the rear door which proved to be a combination of the husband and wife's blood.
Wagner asserted Mordick wanted his wife dead so he could avoid paying her $124,000 in child support over a span of 16 years. But jurors did not find that he committed the murder for a financial motive, which would have made him eligible for a sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.
This was actually a re-trial of a case that ended with an evenly deadlocked jury last year. Mordick's sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 19.