GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A Golden man pleaded guilty on Friday to killing his 70-year-old wife at their home in March.

David Reathman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a Jefferson County Court room. As part of the plea he will receive a stipulated sentence of 48 years.

Reathman, 65, was originally charged with first-degree murder which was dismissed on Friday morning.

“This has been very difficult case for the Reathman family,” said District Attorney Peter Weir. “Considering all factors, including how hard it would on the family to go through a trial, this plea was negotiated in the best interest of everyone involved. We believe it brings a just outcome to this tragic situation.”

Police found the body of Reathamn’s wife, Barbara Reathman, on March 25 in a closet in the couple’s home with her ankles and wrists bound with duct tape. She also had a strip of tape covering her mouth, police said.

David Reathman was missing but surrendered to police three days later.

Investigators said he told them he believed murder-suicide was the only way to escape financial problems caused by the couple’s gambling addiction, and that his wife had joked that he should choke her in her sleep.

Police also say Reathman exaggerated the severity of his lung cancer prognosis and lied about a life insurance policy to get his stepdaughter to help him commit suicide.

David and Barbara Reathman had been married 37 years and kept to themselves, according to court documents. There were no previous reports of any domestic violence between the two.

Sentencing for Reathman is scheduled for Oct. 2.


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