CHARLESTON, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – On Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, a plea hearing was held in Charleston for Rodney Wheeler, who pleaded guilty to a felony charge of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice.
Wheeler was indicted in August of 2020, after conspiring with his wife, Julie Wheeler, to fake her death in May by falling from the Grandview Overlook in what is now the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.
Police searched for Wheeler from May 31 to June 2, only to discover her hiding in her home.
According to the federal indictment, Rodney and Julie Wheeler worked together in faking her death. Wheeler was to be sentenced on federal health care fraud charges in June of 2020.
Alongside helping his wife plan her death, Rodney also threw Julie’s shoe and cellphone from the overlook to further imply that she had fallen. The belongings were quickly found by search and rescue personnel.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the court ordered a presentence investigation. Rodney Wheeler is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5.
Rodney first pleaded not guilty to the charges in October of 2020, while Julie pleaded guilty to the federal felony offense of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice the same month.