Fertility doctor sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for murdering wife in 2016

By Claire Wolters | Fact-checked by Davi Sherman
Published March 26, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Former fertility doctor Eric Scott Sills was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering his wife in 2016 and staging the scene to make it look like an accident had occurred.

  • Family members of Susann Sills, the deceased, spoke at her trial and referenced the tragedies they have experienced.

Former Carlsbad fertility doctor Eric Scott Sills has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Susann Sills, and making it look like an accident. According to evidence presented at trial, the convicted doctor strangled his wife to death and then staged the incident to look as if she had fallen down the stairs before calling 911.[] 

Susann Sills died in 2016, but her death was not investigated as a homicide until a year later, in 2017. Eric Sills was not arrested until 2019 after police apprehended him on his way to work. During the time between the murder and arrest, Sills continued to practice medicine. Further, Eric Sills’ medical license did not expire until 2021, and the New York and California Medical Boards did not pull his medical licenses until 2022. Now, with his sentence, Sills is unlikely to ever practice medicine again.[][]

Susann Sills, who was 45 years old when she died,  is survived by family members, including her twin children. According to reports, both children were at home, sleeping in another room, at the time of their mother’s death. Daughter Mary-Katherine Sills spoke at Eric Sills’ trial, asking for “mercy and kindness” to be shown to her father.

“I have been left orphaned and I’m so lost without my parents,” Mary-Katherine Sills said at the trial, The Orange County Register reported. She also expressed the tragedies her father’s arrest and trial have had on her life, such as landing her in the foster care system and being pulled into the criminal case and trial. Now 19 years old, Mary-Katherine Sills was 12 years old at the time of her mother’s death.[]

Susann Sills’ family members, including her half-brother, Frank Gaulden, also spoke at the trial. Following the verdict, Gaulden told the judge, “the verdict was the correct verdict,” but that it did not bring happiness or joy, The Orange County Register reported.[]

Related: Seven years after his wife's death, a fertility doctor is on trial for her murder

“When she died it was like reading a novel and right when it starts getting good there is nothing but a blank page,” Gaulden told the judge, according to The Orange County Register. “I just want as much as the law of California can do to give a sentence that is commensurate as much as possible with the life sentence we are all suffering.”[]

What this means for you

Eight years after his wife’s death, a former fertility doctor has been convicted for murdering her. Eric Sills is now sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

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