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Woman Admits Fatally Stabbing Husband With 14-Inch Decorative Dagger But Says It Was Just Rough Foreplay Gone Wrong

Jennifer Lynn Via pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in the death of her husband, Thomas Via.

By Gina Tron
Jennifer Lynn Via

Was it rough sex or something more sinister?

West Virginia woman Jennifer Lynn Via admitted in court Monday to stabbing her husband, Thomas Via, with a 14-inch decorative dagger, but claims it was just foreplay gone wrong.

"My husband and I liked to fight and have sex and then make up, if that's the right way to say that," the 49-year-old Huntington resident said after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter, according to the The Huntington Herald-Dispatch. "He wasn't supposed to get hurt, but it did happen."

Thomas died after the knife his wife used to stab him in the back pierced his heart. Seven inches of the 14-inch blade entered his body.

Jennifer was given 15 years in prison. She was originally charged with first-degree murder. Her sentence may be reduced at a hearing next month, the Associated Press reports.

Jennifer’s attorney Kerry Nessel said in court that alcohol was also a factor in the stabbing.

“As strange as this is, they watched these Kung Fu movies and it led to, what I would tell a jury, foreplay, which was both of them getting pretty violent with each other while playing with weapons," he said. "That's what led to this."

The defense had argued previously that their client was a battered woman. Investigators, however, said that she was the aggressor, reports WSAZ in Huntington. In addition, Jennifer told investigators various contradictory stories about how the knife entered her husband’s back and heart. 

The night of the stabbing, she told a 911 dispatcher he was accidentally stabbed while the couple was horse-playing. In another story, she claimed he slipped on water and fell onto the knife. In yet another story, her lawyer claimed she accidentally stabbed her husband as he was dumping water into a toilet, according to the Herald-Dispatch. One detective said that there was an $80,000 life insurance policy which was increased just weeks before the death.

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