Wife charged in cold case murder of Bill Rice

Charges have been filed against the wife of Bill Rice, who was murdered in 2005, according to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office.

Therese A. Rice, 68, was arrested on one count of murder Thursday and was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail.

She will be arraigned on Friday.

The probable cause affidavit was filed on Thursday and detailed the allegations against Therese.

Therese called 9-1-1 on January 24, 2005 just before 8 a.m. and reported her husband Bill had a heart attack in the driveway of their North Liberty home, according to the probable cause affidavit.

When EMS arrived, they found Billy unresponsive beside his Jeep in the snow-covered driveway with multiple gunshot wounds, reports said.

Investigators located a hole in the back rest of the driver seat and the seat belt, reports said.

When asked if there were guns in the home, Therese helped police recovered a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol from the bedroom, but his .44-caliber revolver had been moved and she didn't know where, reports said.

Police also recovered .44-caliber ammunition from the home, reports said.

During the autopsy, the pathologist located three gunshot wounds. One entered his right arm near his elbow, exited his arm and entered his torso, the second bullet entered his lower torso and the third entered his buttock, reports said. All three bullets were recovered.

The bullets were .44 caliber and fired from the same weapon, according to an analyst at the Indiana State Police Criminal Laboratory.

Therese spoke with police and said she went to bed the night before Bill died around 11:30 p.m. but he wasn't home. She said she woke up around 1:30 a.m. and he wasn't home yet, reports said.

When she woke up at 7:30 a.m., she realized her husband wasn't in bed so she looked out the window and saw his Jeep in the driveway, according to the probable cause affidavit.

When she went outside, she found him lying on the ground next to the Jeep, kicked his foot and called 911 when he didn't move, reports said.

In August 2016, a woman contacted the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit and told them she heard Therese tell her daughter, "But I emptied the gun into your dad's chest," reports said.

The daughter then responded, "Shut up, you're going to end up in prison for the rest of your life," reports said.

Therese stated, "But I did it! I emptied the gun!" according to the probable cause affidavit.

Another person told CMHU a few months after Billy died she and others were having dinner with Therese and other family members who were all saying nice things about Bill, reports said.

Therese allegedly said, "you know I was pissed at your dad because he was at the bar that day," reports said.

Later that evening, the witness commented it was a shame Billy had been shot twice and Therese told her, "No, the gun was emptied into him," and he was killed "with his own gun," according to the probable cause affidavit.

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