Rockford Man on Trial for Murder

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A Rockford man is standing trial today for the death of his second wife.

Willard Purcell is in court accused of murdering Barbara Purcell. Police say her body was found at the bottom of a staircase in her rural Rockford home in June of 2001. Five days earlier, Purcell’s wife filed a restraining order against him.

The trial was set to begin last Friday but the judge granted a continuance. Fifteen years ago Purcell’s first wife was found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Her death was ruled an accident.