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James Schumacher Turns Self In, Admits To Brutal Hatchet Slaying Of Wife

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Police in Washington say James Schumacher confessed to killing his wife with a hatchet.
Police in Washington say James Schumacher confessed to killing his wife with a hatchet.

Police in Washington say a 71-year-old man recently walked into a police station and confessed to hacking his wife to death with a hatchet.

Lake Hills resident James Schumacher has been arrested for one count of first-degree murder for the brutal slaying of his wife, Jean, also 71. Schumacher is being held in the King County Jail on $1 million bond, police said.

Schumacher allegedly walked into the Bellevue Police Department at about 3 p.m. Friday and confessed to the murder.

"The suspect made a full confession, stating he killed his wife Wednesday morning in her room, closed the door and locked it," a police spokesperson told The Huffington Post.

Schumacher allegedly claimed he was tired of his wife's verbal abuse and attacked her after she threatened to divorce him.

On the day of the murder, Schumacher had initially planned to "scare the s**t out of" his wife by forcing his way into her bedroom with a hatchet, Detective Robert Thompson said during Schumacher's court appearance Saturday.

Thompson said Schumacher jimmied her locked bedroom door and found her sleeping. Schumacher thought she was pretending to be asleep and struck her with the hatchet about a half-dozen times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

After the murder, Schumacher allegedly hid his wife's body under the bed and spent the next two days contemplating his next move.

"He thought about locking up the house, getting into his car and just driving away," Thompson told the court. "He also contemplated suicide but decided just to turn himself into the police."

According to court documents, the couple had been married for 46 years and had two children who currently live in the greater Seattle area. James Schumacher is retired from Boeing and U.S. Steel, each of 17 years.

The couple had a history of domestic violence and in 2010, Jean Schumacher filed for a restraining order against her husband. She allegedly claimed he had threatened to kill her and said she feared for her life, local news station KMVT reported.

Neighbors told local news stations that the couple had been separated for about eight months and had only recently moved back in together.

"I just can't believe he killed her. ... I just didn't think he was that violent," neighbor Mary Farrell told Komonews.com.

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