Mitchell man given 18 years in prison for murdering wife

MITCHELL, S.D.–A Mitchell man who pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in his wife’s October 2017 death was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday as part of a plea agreement.

Forty one year-old James Brinker killed his 37-year old wife Marie by wrapping her in a blanket, placing her on a mattress, and tying a belt around her head to hold in place a sock that he had put in her mouth.

A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide caused by asphyxia due to suffocation.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Chris Giles said the death was a horrific situation that was emotionally devastating.

James Brinker was given credit for just over two years served in the Davison County Jail.