Family Crimes

Man Suffocates Wife To Death By Stuffing Sock In Her Mouth, Then Takes A Nap

He then allegedly convinced one of their three children to call 911 after bringing them to the scene.

A South Dakota man allegedly killed his estranged wife on Tuesday by asphyxiating her with a sock.

James Edward Brinker, 39, is now facing first-degree manslaughter charges regarding the death of 36-year-old Marie Brinker, according to the Mitchell Republic.

KDLT reports that James’ allegedly wrapped the victim in a blanket before putting a sock in her mouth. Police claim he tied a cloth belt across Marie’s face and left her on a mattress. James then fell asleep. When he woke up he saw that Marie “did not look good,” according to court documents. He cut the belt from his wife’s head, and was unable to find a pulse.

James didn’t call 911. Instead, he allegedly convinced one of their three children to call after bringing them to the scene. After 911 was dialed, James allegedly fled, according to KELO. James allegedly told the children he didn’t want to get in trouble. The mother had a protection order in place, which was supposed to prohibit James from having contact with her. James was found and arrested at another residence.  

According to the Mitchell Republic, when medics arrived, Marie’s body was stiff and cold to the touch, “indicating she had likely been dead for some time,” court documents said.

The suspect has been arrested in the past for changes ranging from domestic assault, drug charges and obstruction of justice. In addition to being charged with first-degree manslaughter, which could possibly result in a  life imprisonment for James, he is also charged with violation of a protection order constituting an assault.

[Photo: Davidson County Sheriff’s Department]

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