CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — A New York woman was found guilty Friday of killing her husband, then dismembering and burning his body.
Rose Chase sat stoically as an Ontario County Court jury foreman announced the verdict.
After more than four hours of deliberation over two days, Chase, 32, of Seneca, was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of Adam Chase. She was also found guilty of tampering with evidence and endangering the welfare of a child.
"Justice was done, my son (can) rest," Adam's mother, Silvia Chase, said after the verdict was announced. She said although she never could have envisioned her son dying at the hands of his wife, she also never doubted that her daughter-in-law of 11 years would be convicted of the crimes.
The jury reached its verdict after watching more than an hour of the videotaped interview of Rose Chase by investigators with the Ontario County Sheriff's Office.
Jurors agreed that Rose Chase pushed her husband down two flights of stairs, killing him, as the couple argued in their home in Seneca on June 14, 2012, then hid his body in the basement for several months. She dismembered, then burned his remains and scattered his bones on her mother's property in Potter. Police found his remains six months after his disappearance.
Rose Chase had lied to police and others about his whereabouts for those six months.
She explained her actions to police in the recorded interview, admitting that she wasn't happy in her marriage and had repeatedly had affairs. She also confessed to killing Adam Chase.
Rodney Miller, a longtime friend of the Chase family and a private investigator from Gorham, had tipped off deputies once he convinced Rose Chase to confess.
"Without Rodney (Miller) we wouldn't be here today," Silvia Chase said. "He's the one who found him. He never gave up."
Miller said he knew when Adam Chase disappeared that the circumstances weren't right. He said he knew Adam was dead.
"She's going to go where she belongs," Miller said of Rose Chase. "I'm ecstatic. In my heart I knew God was going to take care of me. He helped me find Adam."
Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he thought the videotaped confession was a key piece of evidence, "but the work of Rodney Miller was fantastic." Miller's doggedness and continued pressure from the Chase family caused Rose Chase to confess, he said.
Defense lawyer Catherine Walsh on Thursday argued that Rose Chase never meant to harm Adam as the pair argued, but after he fell, she panicked. Walsh argued during summations that Rose Chase thought her husband was dead when she moved his body to the basement. She admitted she pushed Adam Chase down the second set of stairs, but "you cannot kill a dead person."
Patricia Mooney, Rose Chase's mother, left the courtroom in tears Friday afternoon.
"They had a broken marriage," she said and added that she thought evidence was left out of the case — such as concerns that her daughter had become suicidal.
"I love my daughter," Mooney said. "I'm a mom. I'm going to always love my daughter, no matter what."
Tantillo said Rose Chase will face 15 years to life to 25 years to life in prison on the murder charge, and potentially an additional 1 1/3 to 4 years to life on the tampering charge. Judge William Kocher will decide whether those terms will be served consecutively or concurrently at her sentencing, on Jan. 15.
Silvia Chase and her husband, Lindon Chase, have temporary custody of their grandson Trysten, who is now 6. They plan to create a memorial for their son.