Friday, March 28, 2014

Nan Wyatt -- She Didn't Deserve This

Wyatt (legal name Nandray Ann Walicki) was the popular co-host of KMOX radio's "Total Information A.M.," the top-rated morning drive-time news show in St. Louis, Missouri.  Known for her winning personality and in-depth political analysis, the 44 year old won several journalism awards including the prestigious National Associated Press Award for Enterprise Reporting in 1995, and had been a regular since May 1998 on the KETC-TV Thursday night panel news show, "Donnybrook."  While briefly working at the Chicago radio station WBBM-AM during the mid-1990s, Wyatt met her husband, Thomas Joseph Erbland, Jr.  Despite numerous attempts to fix their troubled marriage, Wyatt confided to friends in 2003 that she planned to divorce the 43-year-old unemployed computer consultant and petition for custody of their seven-year-old son, Drake.

Missouri Department of Corrections

On the evening of February 18, 2003, Erbland phoned police and tearfully confessed, "I've just shot my wife."  He was kept on the line while officers rushed to the couple's home in the 1300 block of Woodland Oaks Drive in the St. Louis County suburb of Twin Oaks.  Wyatt, shot five times with a .357 Magnum handgun, was found dead in the master bedroom.  Erbland, threatening to take his own life, was arrested hours later in the parking lot of an optical store where he had agreed to meet police.  Under questioning, Erbland said that while his son was in the house at the time of the murder, he dropped him off without explanation at the home of Wyatt's parents prior to calling authorities.  Interviewed in jail while awaiting trial on a charge of first-degree murder, a contrite Erbland confessed that while the murder was premeditated he felt great remorse -- "I stole Nan from everybody.  I stole her from Drake.  She loved him so much.  I stole Drake from her.  She didn't deserve this."  According to Erbland, the murder was precipitated by his discovery of Wyatt's private journal in which she had written their marriage was irretrievably broken.  In an agreement with the prosecutor's office, Erbland escaped life imprisonment without the possibility of parole by pleading guilty to second-degree murder on March 13, 2004.  Sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison, he will be eligible for parole in 26 years at the age of 70.  As of March 2014, Inmate #1110940 was incarcerated at Missouri's Jefferson City Correctional Facility.

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