Bellevue man. 72, gets 25 years in wife’s hatchet death

SEATTLE (AP) — A 72-year-old Bellevue man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing his wife with a hatchet while she slept.

James Schumacher turned himself in to Bellevue police in March 2012, saying he picked the lock on his wife’s bedroom door, killed her and then hid her body under the bed.

The Seattle Times reported that jurors convicted him of second-degree murder despite his defense lawyer’s argument that the man suffered from dementia. At Friday’s sentencing, his lawyer asked for a sentence of only two years.

Prosecutors asked for the 25-year term, saying the murder capped years of verbal, mental and physical abuse of his wife, Jean Schumacher.

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