Bellevue

72-year-old who killed his wife with an ax sentenced to 25 years

72-year-old who killed his wife with an ax sentenced to 25 years
James Schumacher
SEATTLE -- The 72-year-old Bellevue man who murdered his wife with a hatchet was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison.

James Schumacher was convicted of second degree murder for brutally attacking and killing his wife as she slept in the couple's Bellevue home in March 2012.

Charging documents say Schumacher told police his wife of 46 years had threatened to divorce him and he was tired of her verbal abuse. He told police he hit her on the head about six times as she slept in her bedroom and shoved her body under the bed.

Schumacher walked into a police station two days after the killing and confessed to the murder, according to prosecutors. Police went to his 159th Avenue house and found his wife's body.

Prosecutors say Jean Schumacher had sought a protection order against him in 2010 because she feared he was going to harm her.

The standard sentence range for second degree murder is 12 to 20 years, but on Friday Judge Kimberly Prochnau sentenced Schumacher to 25 years because of his history of domestic violence against the victim.