71-Year-Old Washington Man Kills Wife With Hatchet After She Threatens Divorce After 46 Years In Abusive Marriage
This man had a history of domestic abuse and his wife even told people he’d threatened to kill her and had filed for an order of protection.
James Schumacher, 71, walked into the Bellevue Police Department on the afternoon of March 23 and announced that he had killed his wife two days prior.
Officers went to a home on the 100 block of 159th Avenue Southeast in Bellevue and found the body of his wife Jean, Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate said. James, who said he was tired of his wife’s verbal abuse and had killed her with a hatchet, was subsequently arrested for first-degree murder.
The couple had been married for 46 years and have two children who both live locally. They had a history of domestic violence.
In 2010, Jean filed for a restraining order against James as a result of physical and verbal abuse. In the court documents, Jean reveals that she feared for her life and that her husband threatened to kill her.
“He wasn’t very nice to her a lot of the time,” said Mary Farrell, a neighbor and friend of the Schumachers. “I talked to her. She told me a few things that made their marriage very difficult.”
“He knocked her down a few times,” Farrell said. “The last time, he pushed her and she fell. With her arthritis, she ended up in the hospital for a few days.”
Farrell added that Jean had confided there was ongoing abuse.
In probable cause documents that were released Monday, police said that James told them Jean had threatened him with divorce and then locked herself in her bedroom.
He then told police he and his wife had separate bedrooms and that after stewing all night over her divorce request, he grabbed a hatchet out of the garage in the morning. He then broke into her bedroom and killed her while she was sleeping. He then placed her body under the bed and left it there until he notified police of what he had done two days later.
James had worked for 17 years each at Boeing and U.S. Steel. He is being held in King County Jail. His bail has been set at $1 million.
Documents released also state that James indicated to police that he would flee the state.
This is a damn shame. 46 years of marriage, two grown kids and he kills her! Everyone already knew this dude wasn’t shyte and let that old lady die like that.
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