FINDLAY — A Findlay man charged with killing his wife at their home then leaving her body in a Hancock County field was sentenced to prison Thursday after pleading guilty in Hancock County Common Pleas Court.
The plea came after police searching for clues in the beating death of Danielle Robinson Donoho last year, recently discovered child pornography on her husband’s computer.
Evan Donoho, 26, of Findlay had been scheduled to go to trial in April. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to murder, two counts of tampering with evidence, and two new charges — illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.
Hancock County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Niemeyer promptly sentenced Donoho to at least 29 years in prison for killing his 29-year-old wife in their home, leaving her body in a field south of Findlay, getting rid of the hammer he used in the murder, and for the incidents in which he downloaded child pornography.
The judge ordered him to serve 15 years to life for murder, and then ordered that he serve the maximum prison terms on the other charges, consecutively.
“As part of the original homicide investigation, the police had seized some computers from the home,” explained Hancock County Prosecutor Mark Miller. “Looking through those for matters related to the homicide using assistance from the Toledo Police department, that detective stumbled into some known child pornography so we got a different, expanded search warrant and let them go forward with the computer analysis.”
Detectives found four videos and a collection of pictures of juveniles “in various states of nudity and different activities,” Mr. Miller said.
The pornography on Donoho’s computer consisted of commercial downloads from the Internet, not images of any local children.
“Sadly, the officers deal with it enough to identify it as known child pornography,” Mr. Miller said.
A bill of information charging Donoho with the pornography counts was filed Thursday as part of a plea agreement worked out with the prosecutor’s office.
Donoho, a U.S. Army veteran who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, apologized to his wife’s family in court but did not offer a reason for killing her.
“He said in court that he didn’t really know why” he did it, Mr. Miller said. “I wasn’t satisfied, and I don’t know that the family would be in terms of why this guy did what he did to a loved one.”
Mrs. Donoho, a 2000 Findlay High School graduate and mother of two, had married Donoho March 27, 2010.
Relatives of the couple reported them missing last Sept. 26. About two hours later, police located Donoho and took him to the police department for questioning. His wife’s body was found the next morning in a farm field off Jackson Township Road 168 just south of Findlay. An autopsy showed she died from multiple blunt trauma to the head.
Donoho, a 2003 Elmwood High School graduate, joined the Army in 2008, received numerous awards and commendations for his service overseas, but was discharged in April, 2010.
Attorneys for Donoho could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Miller said Donoho would not be eligible for parole until 2040.
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