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October 15, 2015

Woman gets 18-year term for killing her husband

Before turning the gun on herself, Judy Deal fired two shots into her estranged husband’s torso on Nov. 20, 2011, in his home near Hume.
An Amissville woman Wednesday received an 18-year prison sentence for shooting and killing her estranged husband near Hume almost four years ago.

Judy Deal, 61, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Aug. 3.

Fauquier County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker this week sentenced Mrs. Deal to the maximum 40 years in prison but suspended 22 years.

John Michael Deal
, 60, died of his wounds the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, at 1784 Crest Hill Road.

Mrs. Deal turned the gun on herself after shooting her husband and suffered a traumatic head wounds. She lost her left eye.

Mental evaluations twice found Mrs. Deal mentally incompetent to stand trial.

But, Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher pushed for continued treatment to restore her competency.

Judge Parker in August 2014 ordered the defendant back to Western State Hospital in Staunton for full-time treatment.

After that round of therapy, the judge in April found Mrs. Deal competent to stand trial for second-degree murder.

She pleaded guilty just more than two weeks before the scheduled trial, slated to begin Aug. 20.

In court Wednesday, Mrs. Deal accepted responsibility for the crime and apologized.

“I’m sorry for what happened. I never meant for it to happen,” she said, according to the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

She will remain on probation for 10 years after her prison term.
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