Crime - Sacto 911

Foothill Farms man gets 25 years to life in prison in wife’s killing

A Foothill Farms man convicted of first-degree murder in the November 2013 death of his wife has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Jurors deliberated less than a day before returning a guilty verdict against Gary Alan Eberly, 56, in January. He was sentenced Friday by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.

On Nov. 27, 2013, Eberly called 911 and said he had found his wife dead in their backyard shed. Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies found 51-year-old Rhonda Jones in the shed covered in blankets. Her head was wrapped in a plastic garbage bag with tape wrapped around her face and head, authorities said.

Eberly told investigators that his wife left him for another man and took her belongings. Eberly said he then traveled to Los Angeles to look for a job and found his wife’s body upon his return.

But investigators determined that Eberly never left Sacramento. They also found blood on the headboard and pillow in the master bedroom.

DNA analyzed by the district attorney’s crime lab revealed that the blood matched that of Jones. The coroner determined that she died from probable asphyxia, authorities said. She also suffered blunt-force trauma and bruising to her mouth, the bridge of her nose and her forehead.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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