Man who strangled sleeping wife and then called 911 to confess sentenced to 20 years in prison

TACOMA -- A man who strangled his sleeping wife with a belt and then called 911 to report what he had done was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison.

Michael Leroy Brown, 57, appeared in Pierce County Superior Court.

On the morning of Jan. 8, 2015, Brown walked into the bedroom where his wife was sleeping and strangled her with his belt. He called 911 to report what he had done.

When deputies arrived, Brown answered the door and said, “She’s upstairs.” Then, he locked himself in a bathroom. Deputies were eventually able to get Brown to open the door, and he was bleeding profusely from a cut to his neck. He told the deputies, “I killed my wife, I didn’t want her to suffer.”

He said he recently lost his job and did not want his wife to endure the consequences. He also admitted that he previously attempted suicide shortly after Christmas. Brown said he was treated with anti-depressants, and was taking his medication at the time of the murder. He was transported to the hospital for treatment of his self-inflicted neck injury.