Man accused of killing second wife sentenced to 15-45 years in prison

Alan Sylwester
Alan Sylwester(Henderson Police Department)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 12:28 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Henderson man accused of killing his wife was sentenced to prison Wednesday, according to court officials.

Alan Sylwester entered an Alford plea in April in the killing of his wife Karen Byer following her death in March 2019. An Alford plea is when someone doesn’t admit to the criminal act but contends that the prosecutor’s evidence is enough to convict.

Sylwester was sentenced to 15-45 years in prison by District Judge Jacqueline Bluth.

According to court records, Sylwester called police to his home on the 100 block of Caminito Amore on March 4 and said his wife was unresponsive. Officers arrived and she was declared dead at the scene.

When officers talked to Sylwester, he told them he knew Byer since they were in fourth grade, then reconnected in 2018. They started dating in July, then were married in Oct. 2018.

He said Byer was diagnosed with Lymphoma in August, and had a PET scan scheduled for this month to determine if she was in remission. He said he also suffered from arthritis.

He also told officers that Byer had fallen one or two days before her death and complained that her leg and elbows hurt.

Officers found Byer on the bedroom floor, Sylwester’s arrest report stated. He said he moved her there to perform CPR. Officers observed bruises on her wrist and elbow.

An investigator with the coroner’s office followed up on her injuries, and in the process, spoke with a friend of the couple who said they were “off” but couldn’t elaborate why. She told the investigator that Sylwester told her he wanted his marriage dissolved because Byer was obsessive.

The friend also told the investigator about Sylwester’s last wife, Lauren Rhea Gilliom, who died in March 2011 in Livermore, California. The investigator stated in their report that Gilliom’s death was suspicious.

According to her obituary, Gilliom died at 52, and was married to Sylwester for 27 years with two kids.

An officer investigating Byer’s death compared Byer’s injuries and the details of her case to Gilliom’s, and said both deaths had similarities.

Sylwester was not charged in Gilliom’s death.