For a decade, many people wondered what happened to Byron Wright. The Arlington man and longtime Boeing employee disappeared, then police found his remains buried under a concrete slab at his home.
Tuesday his family and friends got to confront his wife, who pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder.
Why? When? How? I'm sure we will never know the answers, said his sister, Sharon Deihl.
Michele Donahue now admits to stabbing her husband to death, ten years ago at their Arlington home.
Prosecutors believe she hid the body on the property, and later convinced her new husband to bury the remains under a concrete slab in the shop.
I did plan this, Donahue told the court at her sentencing. I didn't plan to take Byron's life that day.
She had told people Byron Wright had run away with a younger woman. She got the home, his car collection, and half his Boeing retirement plan.
A car guy might leave his wife, but he's not leaving his cars behind, said his childhood friend, Larry Ringstad. He shared Wright's love for collecting cars.
Ringstad told the court this was more than murder. It was ten years of deception, to her financial benefit.
He was a car guy, that's why i still have cars. For Michele, Shelly as I knew her, to take his life, and then lie, deceive and cheat to take his retirement, to sell his property, to sell 8 automobiles, we're talking over a half million dollars.
In a plea deal, prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to a 15 year sentence. But Wright's family asked the judge for more.
To think that Michele, Shelly, can do such a horrific thing and still have a chance to get out of prison in 15 years or less, is so hard to answer, said Deihl.
The defendant kept the secret of her crime for roughly ten years, as well as disposing of the body, all of that is really distressing, said superior court judge George Bowden.
Citing sentencing restrictions for 2nd degree murder, the judge gave Donahue 16 years, plus community supervision when she's released.
We got an extra year, that's the best we can expect for, said Ringstad.