Jury rejects attempt to make wife’s death look like suicide

August 2, 2018

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a South Carolina man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing his wife and trying to make it look like a suicide.

Prosecutor Hunter Swanson said a jury found 39-year-old Richard Passio Jr. guilty of murder Thursday.

Authorities say Passio called 911 in June 2016, saying his wife had just killed herself. But Hunter says 33-year-old Michelle Passio’s body was cold to the touch and the blood from the gunshot wound under her chin had coagulated.

Hunter said in a statement that Richard Passio was an angry and controlling husband who was upset his wife — who was the mother of eight children — had talked to an attorney about a divorce.

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