Wayne County man was questioned in the death of his estranged wife in 2015

LYONS — The Wayne County man previously named as a person of interest in the case involving the homicide of his estranged wife is set to go to trial on March 20 for a burglary charge. 

Thomas Rouland, 40, of Newark, was offered a plea deal by the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office that would have included a recommended prison sentence of two and a half years in prison in exchange for an admission of guilt to second-degree burglary, a class C felony. 

However, Rouland has shown no interest in accepting the plea deal to date.

Rouland is accused of breaking into his old home last May, allegedly cutting an electric cable and then sneaking under the home to remove it. 

In addition to the burglary charge, he is also facing charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief and petit larceny, both class A misdemeanors. 

Rouland was first in the news when he reported his estranged wife, Kimberly Rouland, missing during February 2015, which led to an extensive search for the woman. 

Thomas Rouland told state police that the last time he saw her, she was walking from their home at the Forest County Trailer Park toward Fairville-Maple Ridge Road at around 6:30 p.m. He told investigators that she told him she had to take care of some personal business and would be right back.

In March 2015, as the snow began to melt, the 33-year-old woman’s naked body was uncovered on the side of the road in the town of Arcadia, not far from the home she shared with Thomas Rouland.

Her death was ruled a homicide. 

Kimberly Rouland was not poisoned, strangled, shot or stabbed, and her body showed no signs of blunt-force trauma, then Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy said shortly after the homicide ruling was made. 

Thomas Rouland underwent routine questioning by police both before and after the body was found, but he was never charged. 

Thomas Rouland’s attorney at the time, Wayne County First Assistant Defender Andrew Correia, said in January 2016 that his client had been investigated thoroughly by police, including through the execution of multiple search warrants, as well as confiscation of electronic devices, surveillance and eavesdropping. 

“Despite going through all that investigation, he appropriately remains uncharged with anything having to do with Kim’s disappearance and death,” Correia said at that time. 

As of today, the investigation into Kimberly Rouland’s death remains open and ongoing, according to Wayne County Acting District Attorney Christopher Bokelman.

Thomas Rouland again found himself in the news in January 2016 when he was charged with the rape of a 33-year-old woman. 

However, that charge was thrown out in Wayne County Court after the alleged victim suffered a stress-induced seizure during a hearing that was intended to establish if there was enough evidence to keep him incarcerated on the charge. 

Judge Arthur Williams determined during the hearing that Thomas Rouland’s bail for the crime would be lifted due to insufficient evidence produced during the alleged victim’s brief testimony.