CANTON — A Canton man was sentenced to 70 years with the first 25 of those years to be served in confinement for an attack on his ex-wife in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.
According to the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office, Rodney William Metzer has admitted to 14 charges related to an attack on his ex-wife that included kidnapping, assaulting, threatening her with a handgun, and leaving her bound with homemade zip tie handcuffs.
The defendant pled guilty 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
According to prosecutors, at about 2 a.m. Jan. 1, deputies with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call and found Metzer on the front porch of his ex-wife’s home, appearing to be a concerned family member. He told police that he had just arrived at the house, where he happened to find her bound with zip ties, face down on her deck, with a pillowcase over her head.
The investigation revealed a different story. According to prosecutors, the day before, Metzer attempted one last time to reconcile with his ex-wife, but she refused. At about 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1, Metzer broke into her home and entered her bedroom, wearing a mask and carrying a gun. When he spoke to her, he disguised his voice. 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. 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, prosecutors say 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.
Investigators with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office located 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.
Investigators also located surveillance video of the defendant 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. Surveillance video of the defendant coming home to his apartment and leaving a few minutes later wearing different clothing contradicted his claims of his whereabouts leading up to the assault.
In addition to this evidence, the defendant’s cell phone and laptop revealed an internet search history 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 on behalf of the State. “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,” 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.”
If you or someone you know is impacted 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.