A Canton man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for 14 charges related to a New Year’s Eve attack on his ex-wife that included breaking into her home, threatening her with a handgun and leaving her bound outside in zip tie handcuffs, District Attorney Shannon Wallace announced Thursday.
Rodney William Metzer, 36, pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced Aug. 4 to 70 years, with the first 25 years to be served in confinement and the remaining 45 years to be served on probation.
Metzer called 911 at about 2 a.m. Jan. 1, and told responding officers that he found his ex-wife bound with zip ties on the deck at her house, face down, with a pillowcase over her head, according to the district attorney’s office.
But investigators found that Metzer had actually broken into his ex-wife’s home at about 12:30 a.m., wearing a mask and carrying a gun, after he had tried to reconcile the relationship and she refused the previous day. Metzer disguised his voice when he spoke to her, authorities said, and hit her with the butt of his gun and tried to strangle her twice. He zip tied her hands, assaulted her, placed a pillowcase over her head, and dragged her to the deck. He left her there, face down, instructing her not to move until she heard a car honk. He told her she would be shot if she moved.
After leaving his ex-wife tied up outside on the deck, Metzer went to his apartment, changed his clothes, and came back to her home, where he found her still lying face down, tied up outside.
Evidence in the case was substantial. Investigators with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office found a handgun in the defendant’s vehicle and zip ties in his apartment that were ultimately matched to the zip ties used to bind his ex-wife.
Surveillance video showed Metzer leaving Lowe’s Home Improvement carrying a pack of zip ties, although he claimed he didn’t know what zip ties were in an interview after his arrest, according to the district attorney’s office. Authorities also found surveillance video of him coming home to his apartment and leaving a few minutes later wearing different clothing.
Investigators also found internet search history on his laptop that included the following: how long before you starve to death, how to change the sound of your voice, and how long it takes to choke someone unconscious.
“The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office should be commended for the excellent investigation of this case,” said Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ashe, who prosecuted the case. “This man is a master manipulator. In the days leading up to this attack he faked a cancer diagnosis in an attempt to gain sympathy from his ex-wife. When that didn’t work, 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. When he couldn’t go through with that plan, he instead devised a new plan to rescue her. Fortunately, Sheriff’s Office investigators saw through this scheme and quickly arrested the defendant.”
During the plea hearing, Judge Anthony Baker sentenced the defendant as negotiated to 70 years, with 25 years to serve in prison. Charges included: kidnapping, home invasion, burglary in the first degree, armed robbery, aggravated assault – family violence (2 counts), aggravated battery – family violence, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime, invasion of privacy (3 counts), sexual battery, and battery – family violence. The majority of his time in custody will be spent without eligibility for early parole.
“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,” Wallace said. “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.”
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence and/or strangulation, please contact the Cherokee Family Violence Center, CFVC.org, 770-479-1703 (24/7 crisis hotline). In case of an emergency, call 911.