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Orange County jury convicts man of killing wife 27 years ago

October 13, 2010 |  2:27 pm

A man accused of killing his estranged wife 27 years ago was convicted of murder Wednesday with the help of DNA evidence not available at the time of the crime.

William Gregory Mordick, 64, of Spokane, Wash., faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

An Orange County jury found that Mordick slashed Katherine Mordick's throat in 1983 after driving to her Anaheim Hills home and putting their two daughters, ages 2 and 4, into his car. The couple were in the middle of a divorce, and Mordick apparently was afraid of losing custody of his kids.

Katherine Mordick's body was found on the dining room floor the next day by her brother and boyfriend, who became concerned when she did not answer phone calls.

The murder remained unsolved for two decades until the Orange County district attorney’s office reopened the investigation. They were able to link the crime to Mordick through DNA from a blood smear at the crime scene.

Mordick was arrested in his Washington home in 2008, 25 years after the murder.

A jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the first Orange County trial in 2009. The second jury trial ended Wednesday with his conviction. He denied committing the murder.

-- Ching-Ching Ni