Life in prison for man convicted of strangling pregnant wife 30 - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Life in prison for man convicted of strangling pregnant wife 30 years after crime

Scott Purk sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife in 1985. (Source: Summit Co. Sheriff) Scott Purk sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife in 1985. (Source: Summit Co. Sheriff)
Scott Purk at sentencing hearing. (Source: Summit County Prosecutor's office) Scott Purk at sentencing hearing. (Source: Summit County Prosecutor's office)
AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

A man convicted 30 years after his crime has been sentenced to life in prison for the 1985 murder of his first wife.

Scott Purk will not be eligible for parole until 2057.

The word evil was used to describe Purk. He is currently in prison for two arsons in Stow, one that sent his second wife and children running for their lives. 

His first wife Margaret Purk was thought to have committed suicide by hanging herself from a banister in 1985. She was 9 months pregnant at the time.

Turns out he strangled her then placed her body to look like she hanged herself.

"He needs to stay behind bars for the rest of his life and only then will we all be sure we are safe from his deeds," prosecutor Jay Cole said. 

Purk said nothing, he will appeal. Margaret Purk's brother addressed Purk.

"There's really nothing we can say that will matter to you Scott, we've known for a long time some of your evil nature. It's only between you and God to know the true extent of your evil," Michael Metcalf said. 

Purk died at the Akron apartment she shared with her husband. Stow police got involved when he was suspected in the arson case. That got detective Ken Mifflin thinking, and investigating and eventually led to an arrest. 

Mifflin had Margaret's body exhumed.

"The mark on her neck. It obviously was not from a rope, you know this was supposed to be a hanging," Mifflin said. 

Prosecutors told the Judge Purk tried to get out of the arsons by saying he did it because of the suicide years earlier. 

Margaret's brother Michael chose his words carefully.

"Through faith in our Lord we will forgive you and we will forget you," Metcalf said.

Luckily a detective didn't forget.

Purk could not be charged with the death of his unborn child because in 1985, that was not a crime. 

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