A photo of Susann Smith, of Bothell, whose battered body was found in her home in February 2013.
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A former Boeing engineer was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison Thursday for the 2013 beating, stabbing and drowning death of his estranged wife.
Last month, a judge found Alan Smith, 39, guilty of killing his estranged wife, Susann Smith.
Prosecutors alleged that Alan Smith "went off the rails" during his divorce and child custody battle. He reportedly feared his wife was going to move their two young children to her native Germany.
Prosecutors said he savagely beat her, stabbed her more than 20 times and then drowned her.
The judge said the physical evidence alone wasn't strong enough to convict Smith but she found persuasive the testimony of a minister who Smith confessed to after the murder. The defense argued the conversation was protected because the man is a licensed minister but the minister said he wasn't acting as a clergyman when Smith made the statements.
Susann Smith's body was found at her Bothell home on Feb. 12, 2013, with more than 20 sharp and blunt force wounds to the head.
>>> Click here to see a Q13 FOX News report when Smith was arrested