Ruch man convicted of murdering his girlfriend
A judge found a man guilty Thursday of murdering his girlfriend in the summer of 2016 at his home outside Jacksonville.
Jackson County Judge Lorenzo Mejia ruled that Todd Levi Wilcox, 37, is guilty of the July 26, 2016, bludgeoning death of 23-year-old Alexis Lynn Stormo near Ruch, Jackson County Circuit Court records show.
Wilcox, who waived his right to a jury trial, was found guilty on the seventh day of proceedings. Mejia made his ruling after hearing the facts of the case from Senior Deputy District Attorney Allan Smith, Deputy District Attorney Lucy Durst and Wilcox’s court-appointed defense lawyer Elizabeth Baker.
Mejia convicted Wilcox on the murder charge and dropped a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter.
A sentencing hearing is set for March 8. Under Oregon law, murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
Stormo was found bludgeoned to death in Wilcox’s bedroom at a marijuana farm in the 400 block of Tumbleweed Trail, according to earlier news reports.
Court records show that a material witness never appeared in the trial, despite efforts to track him down from the District Attorney’s office and Baker.
Wilcox’s brother Shane Thomas Wilcox, who called 911 in the predawn hours of July 27, 2016, and lived on the property at the time, had gone missing by the beginning of this year.
A Jackson County Sheriff’s detective tracked Shane Wilcox’s last known whereabouts but reached a dead end. The detective had police check out an address in St. Petersburg, Florida, but Shane Wilcox no longer lived there. Another sibling who hadn’t spoken with Shane Wilcox in months pointed police to Galveston County, Texas, where Shane Wilcox was last arrested in March 2018 on a public intoxication charge.
“I have no evidence to suggest (Shane) Wilcox is deceased,” the detective wrote in a Jan. 31 affidavit.
Defense lawyers flew to multiple states, contacted family members, hospitals, welfare agencies and charity organizations, according to a document signed by Mejia, a prosecutor and a defense lawyer the week before the trial began.
The document notes that even if Shane Wilcox had been found, it’s possible he wouldn’t have been mentally and physically stable enough to testify, noting that he suffered a seizure midway through police questioning in July 2016 and had to be hospitalized.