- A Laona man accused in the death of his wife has avoided a lengthy prison sentence.
Gordon Wilber pleaded guilty to 2nd degree reckless homicide in his wife's October 2010 accidental drug overdose, and will spend one year in jail for the crime.
Christina Wilber's family shared emotional testimony about the loss of their daughter and friend, and the effect it's had on her children, the youngest of which was 4 months old at time of Christina Wilber's death.
"October 28th of 2010 was the most tragic day not only in my life, but in the life of many. The decision Gordon Wilber made when he gave my daughter Christina those lethal pills forever changed the lives of all who loved her," said Christina Wilber’s mother, through her tears.
Gordon Wilber expressed remorse over his wife's death, and his attorney stressed that her death was accidental.
Judge Leon Stenz agreed that the couple shared some responsibility in her death, and added that the husband and wife had likely shared drugs before.
However, Judge Stenz said not all of Wilber's actions pointed to grief over his wife's death.
"His remorse that he expresses to the court is suspect because I'm not sure he's being quite honest. I'm also concerned by the fact that he didn't call 911 right away. His initial reaction was to clean out the house, spray air fresher…" said Judge Stenz.
Judge Stenz also questioned Wilber’s claim that the children were his main concern. Judge Stenz sentenced Wilber to one year in jail followed by 7 years probation, with a 25 year prison sentence withheld. He is also forced to pay restitution for costs of his wife’s funeral.
Conditions of the probation strictly forbid Wilber from consuming drugs or alcohol or even entering a tavern. The judge says he hopes the threat of a lengthy prison term will help keep Wilber on the right path, and off drugs and alcohol.
Story By: Kailey Burton