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Man Convicted of Stabbing Wife

October 28, 1999

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ A man who claimed he stabbed his wife as many as 25 times in the back to conceal her suicide from their son was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder.

Thomas Storey, a 27-year-old Navy veteran, faces up to 26 years to life in prison when he is sentenced next month.

Storey told police that Ginny Change Storey was already dead when he stabbed her last year in their Fountain Valley apartment. He said he wanted to spare their son the trauma of dealing with her suicide.

``This is absolutely ridiculous,″ prosecutor Chris Kralick told jurors during closing arguments in Storey’s murder trial Tuesday.

Mrs. Storey, 22, had just filed for divorce from her husband, who was discharged from the military for mental health reasons after serving in the 1993 peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Mrs. Storey was found stabbed once in the stomach and up to 25 times in the bedroom of the apartment the couple shared with her parents. Storey testified that he found his wife with a knife in her abdomen and believed she committed suicide.

Storey’s lawyer, Phil Zalewski, called the defense unusual but valid.

``Nowhere does it say that unusual means unreasonable,″ he said. ``He walks into the bedroom and finds his wife, with his child, is taking her life. That night his universe crashed and he suffered a psychotic episode.″

Zalewski also said it’s possible that Storey ``felt guilty for her death and wanted to be punished″ by implicating himself to police.

Investigators found a suicide note written by Mrs. Storey, but prosecutors said she was forced to write it.

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