A town of Delavan man is looking at spending the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty Monday to murdering his wife in January—less than three weeks after she had filed for divorce.
Robert J. Scott, 57, pleaded guilty in Walworth County Court to first-degree intentional homicide in the stabbing death of Rochelle Scott, 58, on Jan. 6 at their home at 4003 S. Channel Drive.
It was the only charge he faced in the case, and a conviction on that charge requires life imprisonment. A judge will decide in March how much of that is in prison—at least 20 years—as opposed to extended supervision, which Robert Scott will be on for the remainder of his life if he is released.
Robert Scott withdrew his plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect before pleading guilty.
Questions about his competency to proceed with court matters had been raised over the last several months. Ultimately, Judge Phillip Koss confirmed he was competent after testimony from experts and psychological evaluations.
A psychologist who evaluated Robert Scott for his mental illness plea wrote in a letter filed with the court Monday that shortly after she started her interview Nov. 6, he told her, “I’m not real comfortable with this.” She also wrote that he then became silent and declined to participate in the assessment.
Steven Harvey, Robert Scott’s lawyer, said Monday in court that his client did not want to disclose details about what happened. Koss ordered a presentence investigation but stressed to Scott that no one could make him answer questions.
“He finds his privacy about this incident very important,” Harvey said.
On the Sunday morning when the stabbing occurred, town of Delavan police responded to the home and found Robert Scott standing in the driveway, according to the criminal complaint.
He had stabbed Rochelle Scott more than 20 times and said in a 911 call quoted in the complaint, “I just murdered my wife,” “I stabbed her” and “She’s dead.”
The murder was one of three homicides within seven months in Walworth County—all no more than 5 miles apart.
Some of those who knew the victim and attended the plea hearing teared up when Robert Scott entered his plea and formally admitted to killing his wife.
District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld said no plea offers were made.
Robert Scott, who has grown out his hair and a beard since he was in jail, said he was working as a driver for FedEx. He said he has never received treatment for a mental illness.
Koss is scheduled to determine the length of the prison term at 2 p.m. March 12.