Advertisement
  1. Pinellas

Love triangle killer won't get new trial in Pinellas County

Priscilla Houck, convicted last month of murdering her lover's boyfriend, had asked for a new trial. The motion was denied Wednesday.
Priscilla Dawn Houck, now 40, of St. Petersburg, was convicted of first-degree murder last month in the 2015 shooting death of Christopher Wayne Rotenberger, 24, of Seminole. Her request for a new trial was denied.
Priscilla Dawn Houck, now 40, of St. Petersburg, was convicted of first-degree murder last month in the 2015 shooting death of Christopher Wayne Rotenberger, 24, of Seminole. Her request for a new trial was denied.
Published Jan. 2, 2019

LARGO — Priscilla Houck, convicted last month in 2015 a love-triangle murder, will not get a new trial.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Chris Helinger denied the motion Wednesday, adding that she was "comfortable" with her decisions during the December trial.

Houck, now 40, of St. Petersburg, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing 24-year-old Christopher Wayne Rotenberger. Houck and Rotenberger were both in romantic relationships with the same woman, Stephanie Dalrymple, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. When Houck found out Dalrymple was pregnant with Rotenberger's child, investigators said, she hatched a plan to kill him. He was found dead outside his home near Seminole with a gunshot wound to the head.

After the conviction, Houck's lawyers filed a motion asking for a new trial because the guilty verdict was "contrary to the law or the weight of the evidence." The motion pointed out there was no evidence that placed Houck at the crime scene, and it challenged Helinger's decision to admit certain evidence at trial.

"I think it was a very strong circumstantial case for the state," Helinger said before denying the motion, "and I'm very comfortable with the rulings that I made."

Houck is set to spend the rest of her life in prison.

Contact Josh Solomon at jsolomon@tampabay.com or (813) 909-4613. Follow @ByJoshSolomon.