A man arrested following his wife's hit-and-run death Oct. 3 was charged Wednesday with domestic-violence criminal homicide and obstructing justice.
Sherman Alexander Lynch III, 59, is accused of running down his wife, 64-year-old Patricia Rothermich, with a white pickup truck as she walked near home in the area of 2500 East and 5600 South.
Witnesses told police they saw a white pickup truck in the area at the time Rothermich was hit. She was taken in critical condition to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Lynch originally told police he was at Costco when his wife was hit and that his only car is a van. Salt Lake County Attorney Lohra L. Miller said at a press conference Wednesday a woman identifying herself as Lynch's girlfriend contacted police after Lynch made a televised plea calling for the responsible person to surrender to authorities.
Miller said the woman told authorities she was with Lynch when he bought a pickup truck. Miller said the woman indicated she did not know Lynch was married.
On Oct. 5, police, responding to a tip, found a truck inside the garage of a vacant house within a mile of Lynch's house.
"The vehicle was the same 1993 white Chevy pickup truck purchased by the defendant," charging documents state. "The pickup truck had front-end damage on the driver's side, and a strike mark on the hood of the vehicle that were consistent with striking Ms. Rothermich. Detectives also found white paint residue on the grill of the pickup truck that was consistent in both type and location of the paint found on Ms. Rothermich's clothing."
Lynch was arrested and booked into jail Monday. Bail is set at $1,000,007.
Miller said designating the homicide charges as being related to domestic violence does not change the potential 15-years-to-life prison penalty, but it does establish a statistical marker for a serious category of crime.
"Every single domestic violence case we prosecute in this county is a potential homicide," she said.
Miller said Lynch has no record of previous domestic violence.Rothermich was the former Salt Lake regional director for the Division of Child and Family Services.
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