TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma - A Tahlequah man will serve four years in prison, after he told investigators he gave his wife meth as she was dying.

Lawrence Shefchik is in the Cherokee County Jail, after he pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter and domestic assault and battery. The charges were lowered from first degree felony murder.

Shefchik told the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office that after he head-butted his wife, Tracy, she was struggling to breathe, and he tried to give her CPR twice. The next day he gave her meth in a cup of milk, he told investigators.

“It appears that this specific defendant gave the meth to the victim in this case as a way to get her out of what he perceived to be a drug overdose,” Cherokee County District Attorney Jack Thorp said.

Thorp said two factors contributed to lowering the charges. Law enforcement determined Lawrence was in a methamphetamine-induced psychosis, and couldn’t reach the mental state in order to actually commit first degree murder, he said.

“He should have called 911,” Thorp said. “But in this case, apparently he was having hallucinations, was severely under the effect of methamphetamine, and believed that there were worms coming out of her body, and actually used Pine-Sol in order to kill the worms.”

Thorp also said the medical examiner’s report made a big difference, showing there was another drug in her system when she died back in July.

“It’s not the methamphetamine per se that killed this person, but a combined drug toxicity of another drug that was likely taken voluntarily,” Thorp said.

The 45-year-old’s obituary has a comment from her sister, reading in part, “There aren’t enough words to express the grief that is felt by all who knew you. You were a crazy, wild soul ... your spirit could make anyone laugh...”

The sheriff’s office said it isn’t sure when Shefchik will be transported to prison.

He was sentenced to four years for the second degree manslaughter charge, and one year for the domestic assault and battery charge. The Cherokee County Court Clerk’s Office said those sentences will run concurrently.