A Lincoln County man has pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the death of his wife after attempting to pass off the death as an accident.
Prosecutors say 62-year-old Emerson Craig of Maxwell had taken out a life insurance policy on his wife, Heidi, which would pay double upon an accidental death. He was the sole beneficiary of the policy.
Craig entered the guilty plea in Lincoln County District Court. He will be sentenced next month in North Platte.
An autopsy concluded Craig strangled his wife to death.
Prosecutors say Craig made an emergency call on April 26th of 2014, claiming that he had found his wife dead after a large hay bale had fallen on her. Craig told investigators he had tried to pull the bale off of her by using his truck.
Craig’s tale quickly unraveled.
Law enforcement determine the scene had been staged. The autopsy pointed to strangulation as the cause of death. A forensic engineer reviewed the investigator’s notes, concluding the death could not have occurred as Craig reported.