Jennifer Via, 49, of Huntington, West Virginia pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of her husband, Thomas Via, two years ago
She fatally stabbed her husband of 16 years in the back with a 14-inch decorative dagger ‘during a Kung Fu sex game’ is sentenced to 15 years
Thomas Via, then 47, died of internal bleeding after the dagger’s 7-inch blade went through his back and pierced his heart
Among the several versions of events Jennifer offered police was that Thomas slipped and fell into the dagger
Days later, Jennifer tried to collect an $80,000 life insurance policy, which had been increased weeks before Thomas’ death
The defense argued that the couple had watched ‘Kung Fu movies’ and it led to violent foreplay involving weapons
Jennifer Via’s criminal record, dating back to 2010, includes charges of domestic battery, malicious wounding and disorderly conduct
Willful murder: Jennifer Via, [photo], was sentenced to 15 years in prison after she admitted to the killing of her husband of 15 years in 2017
A West Virginia woman has admitted to fatally stabbing her husband in the back with a 14-inch decorative dagger during sexual foreplay inspire by ‘Kung Fu’ films.
Jennifer Lynn Via, 49, was sentenced on Monday to 15 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter in the 2017 death of her husband Thomas Via, 49, who was knifed in the heart.
Via was initially charged with first-degree murder after telling authorities a range of inconsistent stories, including one in which her husband slipped on water and fell into the dagger.
Police were called at around 8pm on November 4, 2017, to the Via residence in Huntington, WVA, where they found Thomas with a knife in his back. He was rushed to St Mary’s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead from internal bleeding caused by the dagger’s 7-inch blade piercing his heart, reported The Herald-Dispatch. The suspect in the slaying, the victim’s wife of 16 years, Jennifer, was arrested 10 days later. On the night of her husband’s death, Via called Cabell County 911 to stay he had been accidentally stabbed while horse-playing. She told told investigators her husband impaled himself by accident after he ‘backed into a letter opener’ during horseplay. That was the first of several different versions of events that she offered detectives. She had been charged with first-degree murder about 10 days after his death after detectives felt her story did not line up with evidence. As part of her plea, Jennifer Via admitted she had been the one to place the knife in her husband’s back. The knife penetrated seven inches into his back, striking his heart and causing him to bleed to death internally. Judge Howard sentenced her to the maximum 15 years, but that sentence could be reduced to anywhere between three to 15 years at a hearing Aug. 19 after an investigation into her past personal and criminal history is completed.
Jennifer Via, [left], pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the 2017 death of her husband, Thomas Via, [right], she hd tried to cash his life insurance policy within days of his death
Jennifer Via admitted that she plunged a dagger into her husband’s back. Thomas died from internal bleeding after the blade pierced his heart. She later posited that Thomas slipped on some water and fell into a knife or screwdriver. A detective said during a preliminary hearing he had been told that Jennifer accidentally stabbed her husband while pretending to be a ninja. According to a criminal complaint, Jennifer, who has a special-needs son from a previous relationship, had a long history of domestic violence towards Thomas, including attempting to run him over with a car.
Jennifer [left], admitted that she plunged a 14 inch dagger into her husband, Thomas Via’s [right], back. He died from internal bleeding after the blade pierced his heart
Just days after Thomas’ death, Jennifer tried to collect an $80,000 life insurance policy in his name, which had been increased weeks before the stabbing
As part of her plea agreement, Jennifer admitted in court on Monday that she stabbed her husband with the dagger.
‘My husband and I liked to fight and have sex and then make up, if that’s the right way to say that,’ she said. ‘He wasn’t supposed to get hurt, but it did happen.’
Defense attorney Kerry Nessel said the couple had watched ‘Kung Fu movies’ and it led to foreplay that involved getting violent with each other and playing with weapons.
Nessel previously had argued Via was a battered woman, but detectives previously testified neighbors had seen Via as the aggressor in the relationship.
Her criminal record dating back to 2010 includes charges of domestic battery, malicious wounding and disorderly conduct.
Defense attorney Abe Saad said Via was guilty of voluntary manslaughter because she had intent to use the knife, but not to cause actual harm to the victim.
Cabell prosecutor Sean “Corky” Hammers said There was clear intent.
Just days after Thomas’ death, Jennifer tried to collect an $80,000 life insurance policy in his name, which had been increased weeks before the stabbing.
Via’s sentence may be reduced at a hearing next month, pending the outcome of an investigation into her personal and criminal history.