Bill Wiggins, Springfield, Ore., Real Estate Broker, Gets 10 Years in Prison for Drowning Wife in Hot Tub

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The story that Bill Wiggins told police and his neighbors was that he was sitting in the hot tub with his wife when he got too hot and went inside. Then when he came back out to check on her--much to his horror--she'd drowned. This, of course, was bullshit. And now, rather than take his case to trial and face life in prison for murdering her, Wiggins just cut his losses with a plea bargain.

The plea means he'll only do 10 years in prison for manslaughter. But at 61, Wiggins is no spring chicken.

Wiggins' wife, Andrea Nicholson Wiggins, was an assistant dean in the Office of College Advancement at the University of Oregon's College of Education, and had been for 11 years. She handled fund-raising efforts for the college, and was instrumental in securing some $30 million for the university's HEDCO Education Building.

But at home she and her husband, a real estate broker, had a rocky marriage.

Police have been tight-lipped on what they believe Wiggins' motive to kill was, other than to say: "Some of it was financial, some of it was motivational." And since the case won't go to trial, those details may never be fully known.

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Andrea Wiggins was drowned in a hot tub by her husband Bill Wiggins.
But in the months after Andrea's death, police say they were able to piece together the truth thanks to something they did immediately after Wiggins called police to report his wife dead: They checked his body for clues. What they found were apparently defensive wounds consistent with someone fighting for their life while being drowned and strangled.

Later, an autopsy would confirm the strangulation.

Whatever the police's evidence was, it was apparently enough for Wiggins not to risk fighting it before a jury. At the same time, it was also not enough for prosecutors to try and put him away on more than a manslaughter charge.

Since her death on March 5 last year, University of Oregon faculty have offered an outpouring of support, some of it represented on this website.

In perhaps an attempt at his own strange ode, Wiggins swore to the judge on Monday that "Andrea was the love of my life and I will never forget her."

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