Monday, March 26, 2012

Bellevue, WA: 'I killed my wife with a hatchet two days ago': 71-year-old husband’s shocking confession to police

A 71-year-old man turned himself in to police two days after he killed his wife with a hatchet while she was sleeping.
James Schumacher told Bellevue, Washington police that he killed his wife Jean on Wednesday morning, locked the door to her bedroom, and only confessed on Friday.
The couple, who had been married for 46 years, had a long history of trouble and his wife Jean filed a protection order against him in 2010.

Neighbors knew that she was afraid of him and she had spoken about how he could be violent.
'She's mentioned that he's hit her and he's thrown her down the stairs,' Brad Dutson told The Seattle Times.
Around the time of the protective order, Jean told one of her neighbors that 'If I end up dead, he did it.'

When he turned himself into local police, Schumacher told him that he was fed up with the verbal abuse of his wife, who had arthritis. The couple have two grown children.
Schumacher only recently moved back into the house after the protective order was lifted last year and the couple was seeing a therapist.

Showing his strange attitude, Schumacher went about his business as if nothing had happened in the days following his murder of his wife.

Mr Dutson said that he spoke with Schumacher on Wednesday, not knowing that he had repeatedly hit his wife with a hatchet just hours earlier.
The two men's properties are separated by a fence, and Schumacher paid him money that he owed Dutson for some repairs. In an odd move, Schumacher gave Dutson more than they had originally agreed upon.
'He said, "Oh don't worry about it. We're gonna be gone for a couple days,"' Mr Dutson said of his conversation with Schumacher.
Dutson said that when he spoke Schumacher in the days following the murder, he never seemed upset or agitated.

The only clue that neighbors had about the troubling situation was their past history, not their outward appearances as they are both described as being quiet and keeping to themselves.
'I just didn't know he was that violent,' neighbor Mary Farrell told KOMO news.
'But I do know he had a drinking problem.
'She was a good friend.'
Schumacher, who was retired and previously worked for both Boeing and U.S. Steel, now faces a charge of first degree murder.

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