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Man pleads guilty to killing wife in 1995, leads cops to remains buried under grave of WW II vet

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado man who has pleaded guilty to killing his wife more than two decades ago led authorities to her body, which was buried under the grave of a World War II veteran.

John Sandoval, 52, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 1995 death of Kristina Tournai-Sandoval, The Greeley Tribune reports.

As part of a plea deal in which he would be credited for the eight years already served for a previous conviction, he led investigators to the remains at a Greeley cemetery where he used to work as a groundskeeper.

Sandoval hid the body in a grave where the veteran was buried. The man had died shortly before Tournai-Sandoval disappeared.

Authorities had suspected he buried her body in a recently dug grave but were unable to locate it until now.

Sandoval was convicted in 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison in his wife’s death. But an appeals court overturned his case last year, ruling that a judge wrongfully allowed evidence that Sandoval stalked other women, as well as expert testimony correlating stalkers with murderers.

Until the plea bargain, prosecutors faced a second trial in which police had no physical or DNA evidence, confession or witnesses to the death of the defendant’s  wife, who had sought to divorce him in 1995.