Daniel DeWild was convicted in November of conspiracy and accessory charges in the death of Heather DeWild, but the jury was deadlocked on a first-degree murder charge. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a plea deal between the legal teams.
DeWild killed Heather in July 2003. She disappeared days before their divorce was to be finalized. Her body was found a month later.
DeWild faces up to 75 years in prison on conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and accessory to murder convictions. The judge declared a mistrial on the first-degree murder charge in November after a hung jury.
Prosecutors say DeWild and his twin, David, plotted the killing together. David DeWild testified that his brother hung Heather. On Thursday, Daniel confessed to striking his estranged wife on the head and hanging her.
According to the Jefferson County's District Attorney's Office, DeWild will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
"Solving this homicide has been a priority for me since I took office in 2005," said Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey. "Our decision to let Daniel DeWild plead guilty was discussed at length with Heather's family. They have amazing courage and patience. They have come for every hearing. I am so glad to finally bring them some justice for Heather."
DeWild will be sentenced on Feb. 28, 2013. He remains in the Jefferson County Jail on a $1 million bond.
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