Court Documents: Zearing Man Charged with Murder, Admitted Stabbing Wife Because She Was Leaving Him

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ZEARING, Iowa – A Zearing man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, who was found stabbed to death Wednesday night outside the couple’s home.

Court documents say 70-year-old Gary Pillman stabbed 62-year-old Betty Pillman during an argument at the couple’s property at 610 S. Center Street around 5:00 p.m.

The criminal complaint says Pillman went to a neighbor’s house and admitted he’d stabbed his wife and tried to kill himself. The neighbor called 911.

When deputies from the Story County Sheriff’s Office arrived, they found Betty Pillman deceased in the yard of the home.

Gary Pillman was taken to Mary Greeley Medical Center for treatment of his self-inflicted injuries.

According to the complaint, Gary told investigators Betty had been cheating on him for some time and had moved into an apartment area, still on the property, about three or four months ago.

During an argument Wednesday night, Gary said Betty told him she was leaving. According to the complaint, he told investigators “he was not going to allow Betty to leave.”

That’s when he went to get a knife and began stabbing Betty. She left the home and Gary followed, continuing to stab her.

The complaint claims Gary Pillman admitted to his neighbor and investigators that he caused his wife’s death.

Pillman is now being held in the Story County Jail.


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