Authorities deemed a Georgia man “a master manipulator” after he kidnapped and assaulted his ex-wife in a botched attempt to win her back.
Rodney William Metzer, 36, admitted to 14 charges related to the January 1 attack, including kidnapping, assaulting, threatening her with a handgun and leaving her bound with zip ties, according to a press release from the Cherokee County District Attorney issued last week.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ashe noted in the release that the staged kidnapping and assault came after Metzer’s faked cancer diagnosis didn’t gain enough sympathy to patch things up with his ex-wife. Ashe also said that after that plan failed, “he created a convoluted plan that the investigators in this case and our office truly believe involved a plot to kill her and then himself,” but couldn’t go through with it.
When the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call around 2 a.m. on January 1, they found Metzer on his ex-wife’s front porch, “appearing to be a concerned family member,” according to the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office. Metzer told law enforcement officials that he found his ex-wife lying face down on the deck, bound with zip ties with a pillowcase over her head. But investigators “revealed a different story.”
When his ex-wife declined to get back together with him the day before, Metzer broke into her home around 12:30 a.m. He wore a mask and disguised his voice when he spoke to her. “He hit her with the butt of his gun and tried to strangle her two times. He zip tied her hands, assaulted her, placed a pillowcase over her head, and dragged her to the deck,” the press release reads. That’s when Metzer returned to his own apartment, changed his clothes and returned to his ex-wife’s house.
Officials say “substantial” evidence in the case points to Metzer’s plot, including a search of his cell phone and laptop that revealed searches like how long before you starve to death, how to change the sound of your voice, and how long it takes to choke someone unconscious. Surveillance footage also captured Metzer purchasing the zip ties that he used during the assault on his ex-wife.
Metzer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 70 years. The first 25 years will be served in confinement and the other 45 will be served on probation, according to the Cherokee County District Attorney.
“This defendant planned a violent attack on his ex-wife that included breaking into her home, disguising himself, and pistol-whipping her. He left her outside on a cold winter night, face down, tied up with a pillowcase over her head,” said District Attorney Shannon Wallace. “I cannot imagine how terrifying this must have been for her. This is a classic example of how the most dangerous time for a domestic violence victim is when she decides to leave an abusive relationship.”
The Cherokee County District Attorney’s office notes that anyone impacted by domestic violence should contact the Cherokee Family Violence Center’s 24-7 crisis hotline at 770-479-1703 and call 911 in the case of an emergency.