Man Convicted Of Murdering Wife, Sleeping With Her Body For Several Days

A Michigan man was sentenced to at least 38 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering his wife and sleeping with her body for several days.

The sentencing hearing came a month after Jeff Sherwood, 47, accepted a plea deal that dismissed his first-degree murder charge in exchange for second-degree murder.

At the hearing on Thursday, Sherwood was ordered by Judge Daniel O'Brien to spend 38 to 60 years in prison for the murder of his wife, Susan Louise Klepsch, 64.

Klepsch died from blunt force trauma to her head and neck inside the couple's shared home in March 2020, The Oakland Press reported.

The Oakland County medical examiner said there was also evidence that Sherwood shared a bed with Klepsch's body for "up to a week."

Alarming data collected by various police departments across the U.S. found that in the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily March and April, domestic violence incidents severely increased.

As many states introduced stay-at-home orders in the last weeks of March 2020, police departments across the country saw an increase in calls, arrests, and reports of domestic violence.

Police discovered Klepsch's body on March 28, 2020, after they received a tip to check on the couple.

The Oakland Press reported that while investigators were inside, Sherwood attempted to hang himself in the basement but was unsuccessful.

After Sherwood was arrested inside his home, he told police that he and his wife made a murder-suicide pact because they were scared to die from COVID-19.

But later he admitted to strangling and beating Klepsch. He told police this was a reaction to Klepsch accusing him of cheating on her, The Oakland Press wrote.

After undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, Sherwood was deemed competent to stand trial but waved a trial after pleading guilty last month.

Data collected by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that from 2019 to 2020 the number of homicides of women and girls by intimate partners or family members increased by 8 percent.

In 2020, the UN estimated that approximately 7,300 girls and women were murdered by an intimate partner or family member. The data also showed that while boys and men are more likely to fall victim to homicide in the public sphere, women and girls are more likely to fall victim inside their own homes.

According to police, Sherwood and Klepsch had been together since 2018. They also said they'd been called to the couple's home in November 2019 for a domestic violence report.

Gavel in courtroom
A Michigan man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after police found him sharing a bed with his wife in March 2020. He was sentenced to at least 38 years. Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images