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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

May 3, 2013 at 1:44 PM

20 years for Swinomish man who smothered wife, hid body under bed

A man who smothered his wife with a pillow and hid her body under a bed last June was sentenced today to 20 years in prison in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Kevin S. O’Leary pleaded guilty in November to second-degree murder for killing Valerie Jefferson, wrapping her body in a blanket and hiding it under the bed before it was discovered five days later, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  The couple had been arguing about an affair O’Leary had been involved in more than a decade earlier.

“This was an especially devastating domestic violence murder,” U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said during the sentencing. “The children lost their mother and grandmother. And the defendant’s actions after the death showed special callousness to those who loved Valerie Jefferson.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said O’Leary is a Swinomish tribal member and Jefferson was a Lummi tribal member. Federal authorities had jurisdiction because the killing occurred at a residence on Lummi trust land.

Comments | Topics: homicide, U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S. District Court

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