Local News

Grand Jury Indicts Robert Petrick For Wife's Murder

Posted June 2, 2003 5:00 a.m. EDT

— A grand jury indicted Robert Petrick for her murder of his wife, Janine Sutphen.

Sutphen, a cellist with the Durham Symphony, had been missing since January. Her body was found last Thursday in Falls Lake.

On Monday, Petrick was appointed two lawyers, who announced that they plan to enter a not guilty plea. Mark Edwards, one of Petrick's lawyers, said dealing with the pre-trial publicity associated with the case may be a challenge.

"Part of what I need to do, because I was not involved with the case and I was not keeping copies of everything and seeing what was said, I need to see what articles have run," he said. "We may have the same problems that they are having in the [Mike] Peterson case."

Petrick also faces fraud charges. Prosecutors allege he used his wife's name after her death to obtain a $5,000 loan.

Petrick faces the possibility of life in prison without parole or the death penalty. The district attorney's office has not said which option it plans to seek.