An Ontario County jury has found Rose Chase guilty of murdering her husband.
After a six-month investigation last year into her son's disappearance, the arrest of his wife last December for murder and a trial spanning two weeks, Silvia Chase said, "justice has been done."
An Ontario County jury on Friday found Rose Chase, of Stanley, guilty of second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Adam Chase, in June 2012. Rose was also found guilty of tampering with physical evidence and endangering the welfare of a child.
"My son can rest," Silvia said. " … He was a great father and an excellent guy. He always cared for other people."
The verdict came after five days of testimony by witnesses that included Silvia, numerous officers from the Ontario County Sheriff's Office, a forensic anthropologist and Rodney Miller, a private investigator and friend of the Chase family who investigated Mr. Chase's disappearance.
"I'm elated," Miller said. "She got what she deserved. We had to fight to get what we got."
Silvia credited Miller for his efforts.
"Without Rodney, we would not be here today because he was the one who found (Adam)," Silvia said. "He never gave up."
Ontario County District Attorney R. Michael Tantillo also praised Miller for his "doggedness" in his investigation.
"I have had cases before where private investigators are the ones that have actually developed a criminal case, but not in anything like this, and this is probably a fairly rare circumstance," said Tantillo, who also credited Mr. Chase's family for "keeping the pressure on" Rose.
Silvia said that after her son went missing last June, she knew something wasn't right.
"Call it a mother's intuition, but something was definitely wrong," she said.
Silvia testified during the trial that following her son's disappearance, rallies attended by friends and family were held in front of his and Rose's home on Mott Road and a Facebook page was set up, asking if anyone had seen him.
After being charged Dec. 14, 2012 with second-degree murder, Rose was indicted in February. The indictment alleged that Rose intentionally caused Mr. Chase's death on or about June 14, 2012. It further alleged that she transported his body from their residence to 4675 Hagerty Road in Potter, Yates County, and concealed it there before ultimately burning the body at that location.
During the trial, the jury viewed an interview of Rose conducted Dec. 13, 2012 by sheriff's office Investigators Lee Martin and John Falbo. In the interview, Rose stated that on June 14, 2012, she and Mr. Chase were involved in what began as an argument and turned into a physical altercation at their home, and that Mr. Chase fell down the stairs. She also stated that she dragged his body to the top of the basement stairs and pushed his body down into the basement.
Sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 15, 2014.
Tantillo said Rose faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder charge, and could receive an additional 1 1/3 to four years in prison for the tampering charge.