A Salt Lake woman charged with stabbing her husband to death has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and was sentenced to prison.
Patricia Bush, 41, was charged with second-degree murder for stabbing her husband, Charles R. Bush, 41, several times in the chest during a fight on June 21.Thursday, she pleaded guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea bargain with the Salt Lake County Attorney's office. Third District Judge James Sawaya subsequently sentenced her to serve an indeterminate term of zero to 5 years at the Utah State Prison. That sentence will be served concurrently with a sentence she is already serving there for a drug-related offense.
The couple had been married for about three months when they became involved in an argument at a local tavern before returning to their home at 247 E. 700 South. There, the couple became involved in a bloody fight, witnesses testified during a preliminary hearing.
According to court documents, Patricia shattered a glass on her husband's forehead, cutting him. In retaliation, he hit her on the head with a frying pan, breaking its handle.
A witness said he broke up the fight. Patricia Bush then left, but returned later and approached her husband with a knife.
During the circuit court hearing, defense attorney Nancy Bergeson said the stabbing was in self-defense because her 200-pound husband clearly provoked her. But 3rd Circuit Judge Floyd Gowans said the threat of harm was gone when a witness separated the couple.
He said that because Patricia Bush reappeared on the scene with a weapon, the question of self-defense would have to be decided by a jury.
"We felt manslaughter was an appropriate level of culpability," Salt Lake County deputy attorney Howard Lemcke said Thursday.