Illinois Man Accused of Killing Wife on Valentine's Day Heads to Trial

Man allegedly kills wife to make way for 20-year-old mistress.

ByABC News
July 19, 2014, 12:53 PM

— -- A former Baptist missionary from Illinois is on trial for allegedly killing his wife on Valentine's Day so he could be with the Lithuanian college student prosecutors say is his mistress.

Nathan Leuthold, 39, of Peoria, Ill., called police to his home on Feb. 14, 2013, saying he was the victim of a home invasion. It was there that officers found the body of his wife, Denise Leuthold, with a single gunshot wound to the head.

"I observed some kitchen cabinets open, and some kitchen drawers on the floor. I felt that this was not an ordinary burglary," Officer Richard Linthicum testified.

Investigators say Denise Leuthold was killed with a Glock 40, the same gun Leuthold owns but which is now missing. They also found Internet searches for "how to muffle a gun," "hitting someone over the head to knock them out," and "lethal injection," on Leuthold's computer.

Leuthold has been charged with first degree murder. Prosecutors say they believe he murdered his wife so he could be with Aina Dobilaite, the 20-year-old college student.

Leuthold and his wife met Dobilaite during a missionairy trip to Lithuania. When she turned 18, the couple sponsored her to come to the United States.

Now prosecutors say they believe Leuthold's relationship with the college student was more than just a sponsored student.

"I know you want me dead. Why do you want to humiliate me by running around with a 20-year-old," Leuthold's wife allegedly wrote in a day planner entry investigators found.

Leuthold's lawyers say there is no evidence that Leuthold was romantically involved with the college student or that he shot his wife on Valentine's Day.

If convicted, Leuthold faces up to 45 years in prison.