HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man admitted at his murder trial Friday that he lied to his pregnant wife about having a job but insisted he didn't kill her.
Roger Holland, 37, of Apple Valley, is charged with murder in the death of his 37-year-old wife, Margorie, and her 15-week-old fetus in March.
Under questioning by the defense, Holland acknowledged the couple was tight on money and that he had told his wife elaborate lies about his employment.
Asked if he killed his wife, Holland said, "No, sir."
Testifying for hours in Dakota County District Court, Holland stuck to his claim that he believes his wife fell down the stairs of their townhome apartment while he was away, the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/18K9bKi) reported.
Asked by defense attorney Marsh Halberg about scratches on his neck and arms, Holland said the scratches were from rough sex with his wife in the days before her death.
He maintained that a few of the scratches on his face and neck were from an incident the morning of March 7 in which Margorie Holland experienced pregnancy cramping while she rubbed his face as he massaged her abdomen. But others were from sexual encounters, he said.
Police had asked Holland about the scratches. He said he didn't tell them about the sex because he believed his wife had died in an accidental fall and he did not want to "drag her personal stuff into this matter."
Halberg also asked Holland about a series of Internet searches about breaking a person's neck, including by hand or from a fall down the stairs. Holland said the Web searches stemmed from a passage in a novel he and his wife had both read. It was Vince Flynn's "Term Limits," a political thriller in which an assassin kills a politician by breaking the victim's neck with his bare hands.
Holland said his wife was reading the book on a trip in November 2012. The couple got into a debate over the realism of the neck-snapping plotline. She thought it could happen, he said; he thought it couldn't.
He said they searched the Web to try to settle the matter.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com