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A man pleaded guilty today in York-Poquoson Circuit Court to murdering his wife last September at their York County home.
Mark A. Freel Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder, a non-premeditated killing, and one count of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Sentencing for Freel, who faces a maximum of 43 years in prison, was set for Aug. 18.
According to court documents, Freel shot his wife, Katherine A. Freel, 27, on the night of Sept. 5, 2015, after returning home from visiting a neighbor.
Freel told York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office investigators that his wife had verbally belittled him, calling him a “worthless husband and father.” He then shot and killed her with a handgun. Shortly afterwards, Freel called 911 to report the shooting. He confessed to dispatchers during the call what he had done.
The murder occurred at the home in the 200 block of Wichita Lane that Freel shared with his wife and their two children, a 4-year-old and a 5-month-old.
The children were in the home at the time of the shooting. Afterwards, they were placed in the care of their mother’s parents.