February 4, 2013
CHILLICOTHE — A man charged in the slaying of his daughter-in-law, who was strangled and dumped in a septic tank, was found guilty of aggravated murder and other charges on Monday.
A jury in Chillicothe deliberated about three hours before reaching its verdict for 48-year-old William Inman in the killing of 25-year-old Summer Inman in March 2011. The trial was moved to Chillicothe in Ross County after attempts to seat a jury in Hocking County were unsuccessful.
William Inman, who denied killing his daughter-in-law and blamed his son for her death, could face the death penalty when he is sentenced. Jurors are expected to return to court Wednesday to consider that.
Inman’s attorney and the prosecutor said they couldn’t comment until that process is complete.
Inman’s 28-year-old son, William Inman II, was convicted last year of aggravated murder, kidnapping and other charges in the case and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. William Inman’s wife, 48-year-old Sandra Inman, pleaded guilty last year to murder, kidnapping and other charges and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
Summer Inman had filed for divorce from William Inman’s son and was seeking custody of the couple’s three small children. She was abducted in Logan in Hocking County on March 22, 2011, then was strangled with a zip tie and was dumped in an underground septic tank behind a church near Nelsonville in Athens County, authorities said. Her estranged husband and his parents were arrested, and Sandra Inman provided authorities with information that led them to the body about a week after the killing.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that a prosecutor told jurors in closing arguments Monday that it didn’t matter who put the zip tie around Summer Inman’s neck. William and Sandra Inman and their son worked together in the plot to kill her and “that is complicity,” deputy state attorney general Paul Scarsella said.
William Inman’s attorneys had said he didn’t kill Summer Inman. They said he and his wife helped kidnap her in Logan, about 45 miles southeast of Columbus, to talk about concerns about their grandchildren and then tried to cover up for their son after he killed her. The son denied killing her.
Witnesses who said they were out walking in Logan that night testified that they heard screaming and the sound of a stun gun from an alley next to a bank where Summer Inman worked as an after-hours cleaning woman. They testified that they saw two men using a stun gun on a woman who was on the ground screaming. Another woman sat behind the wheel of a car, witnesses said.
Summer Inman had filed for divorce in June 2010 after six years of marriage, accusing her husband of being cruel and neglectful, according to court records. She also said her husband threatened to kill her if she took the children from him.
Acquaintances had said that she was attempting to start a new life with her children away from her controlling husband and his father.