Ex-NY prof pleads guilty to strangling wife in '09

A former associate professor at Rochester Institute of Technology admitted Wednesday that he strangled his wife last year and took her body to a suburban Rochester park because it was her favorite place.

Timothy Wells, 58, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Monroe County Court while friends of the couple looked on.

Prosecutors said Wells strangled Christine Sevilla, 58, on Nov. 30 at their home in suburban Perinton. Police said he put her body in the trunk of his car and drove to a park in the nearby town of Mendon, just south of Rochester.

Wells later called 911 and said he had killed his wife, authorities said.

Wells taught computing and information sciences courses at RIT. Sevilla was a photographer and environmental activist who had also taught at the institute.

Sheriff's deputies who rushed to Mendon Ponds Park found Timothy Wells crying inconsolably in a parking lot in a section of the park known as the Devil's Bathtub. A deputy later quoted Wells as saying the area was his wife's "favorite place."

Sevilla was an RIT adjunct instructor in personnel management from 2000 to 2008. She also was an author, and a book of hers includes a sequence of photographs shot near Devil's Bathtub.

In the 12 years before Sevilla's slaying, the couple ran an information technology company that designed instructional programs.

Timothy Wells joined the RIT faculty in 1990. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that he killed his wife amid a series of personal setbacks, including the death of his sister to cancer and the college dropping a master's program he created.

The plea deal five days before he was to go on trial calls for Wells to receive a prison term of 16 years to life when he's sentenced Nov. 19.