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Arlington woman sentenced to 16 years for killing, burying husband 10 years ago

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EVERETT – Michele Donohue, 48, of Arlington, was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison for killing and burying her husband who went missing 10 years ago and who, she claimed, had left her for another woman.

His remains were found buried under her garage floor last February.

She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder July 11.

Court records showed that after Donohue’s husband, Byron Wright, disappeared in 2004, his wife said he left her for another woman. She then  divorced him.

But the prosecutor’s office said she killed her husband sometime between Aug. 1, 2004, and Oct. 1, 2004.

Donohue received all of her husband’s property, including an expensive car collection and a life insurance policy in the divorce. She later remarried.

Police began investigating Donohue when a witness came forward last December; the witness said he helped dig up and re-bury a body on her property.

Human remains were found buried under the floor of the garage on Donohue’s property. An examination showed they were the remains of Wright.

Neighbor Bob Watson heard jackhammers breaking apart the concrete floor in his neighbor’s garage in mid February.

“They were looking for body parts,” said Watson. “That’s kind of weird.”

Lindsey Johnson has been living on the property with Donohue for several months.

“I don’t know what to think,” said Johnson. “I’ve been living with some people who … this is crazy, this only happens in the movies, this is not real.”

Investigators dug under the cement slab and discovered human remains, including severed hands and legs.

“You just never know who you’re living next to,” said Watson.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office has not publicly released its report on how Wright died.

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  • Skip

    A normal man would never give up his car collection, tools and property to chase after a younger woman. What a totally unbelievable story this lady cooked-up. She will enjoy prison.

  • ModestPrude

    Donohue received all of her husband’s property, including an expensive car collection and a life insurance policy in the divorce. How could she divorce him when she had claimed that he just up and left her? Don't you have to wait 7 years for a case of missing before you can declare someone dead? I would think similar would apply to divorce in this situation. Claiming he left her for another woman, with no proof, what kind of idiot judge ruled on that divorce?

    She later remarried. Is THAT guy still alive and kicking?

  • WomanWomanski

    why on earth would you have someone HELP you dig up and rebury a body?!?! if you killed someone alone, you do the work alone. big mistake!

  • Jennifer

    I lived next to them and knew Byron when this all happened. He was a wonderful person and a nice neighbor. I used to play with this woman’s daughter and spend the night. I even came and visited her after he “disappeared”. It’s amazing what kinds of things go on around you and if you aren’t looking or paying attention you wouldn’t even have a clue. She deserves so much more than she got.