They were high school sweethearts, now Dene Shoemaker is headed to prison for killing his wife Stacy. The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports Dene Shoemaker staged her death to look like a robber pulled the trigger.
Dene Shoemaker's murder trial was supposed to start next week. On Friday, he chose to plead guilty to first degree manslaughter and now hopefully Stacy's family can close an ugly chapter in their lives.
"She was so sweet and so innocent. It's just, we can't believe it. Why would something like this happen?" said family friend Mick Bowman.
Stacy Shoemaker was a hometown girl, grew up in Wagoner, married her high school sweetheart Dene and worked for the local middle school.
Then one April day in 2006, her father and young daughter found her shot to death in her own bed. Police started looking for someone who broke in the back door, stole jewelry and cash and killed Stacy in the process.
But less than two weeks later, it was Stacy's own husband who was sitting in a Wagoner county jail cell.
Police say Dene told them Stacy woke him up at four o'clock in the morning on April 30th, saying she was "sick of the lies."
In an affidavit, he said he saw a pistol lying in the bed near Stacy's feet. That report goes on to say he consoled her for 45 minutes and left. When he came back, he says Stacy pointed the gun at him, there was a struggle and Dene says the "gun just went off."
His wife of eight years was shot through the neck. He told police there was a lot of blood and he didn't want to watch her suffer, so he put a pillow over her head and shot her again.
Police say Dene then staged the robbery, breaking the back door and lying about the cash and the jewelry. It seems the lies have now come to an end.
Dene Shoemaker is now accepting responsibility for his wife's death, pleading guilty to first degree manslaughter.
Dene Shoemaker will have to serve at least 85% of his 45 year-term, that's about 38 years.
The Wagoner County assistant district attorney says Stacy's family didn't want to relive her death with a trial and this way there are no appeals.
10/24/2007 Murder Trial Delayed Until January