Enfield man charged in wife's death faces a judge - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Enfield man charged in wife's death faces a judge

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John Dewees Jr., was charged with first-degree manslaughter. (Enfield police photo) John Dewees Jr., was charged with first-degree manslaughter. (Enfield police photo)
ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

The Enfield man who is being charged following the discovery of his wife's body in their home initially told police she hit her head on the bathtub, but according to court documents his story became inconsistent.

John Dewees Jr., 49, was arrested on May 22 and was charged with first-degree manslaughter.

Last week police said they were called to the home on Magnolia Drive for a well-being check. Enfield police found Dewees' wife, 45-year-old Anja Dewees, dead inside. Investigators said they believe she had been there for as many as three days, but they didn't know for sure yet.

The office of the chief medical examiner ruled Anja Dewees' death a homicide. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head with a skull fracture. 

According to court documents, police found the body of the female lying on the bedroom floor wrapped in a plastic water bed mattress with duct tape on it.

Enfield police said a night of drinking led to the death of Anja, and investigators are alleging John threw his ill, immobile wife into the bath tub last Tuesday night where he allegedly forced her to hit her head, punched her in the face twice and elbowed her in her stomach.

Police said Anja Dewees may have been sick, but they did not believe she was terminally ill. According to the court documents, John Dewees said his wife was sick for four years and that he had been taking care of her because she couldn't get out of bed.

Because of that, John Dewees said he gave her a bath, and when he was putting her in the tub she had hit her head. However, later in the court documents John Dewees' story becomes inconsistent. John Dewees said he didn't remember putting her in the tub, but said he fell forward on the stairs and dropped his wife. But he added she did not hit her head.

A friend of Dewees, Carl Cianfarani, was at Tuesday's hearing in court to support his best friend, and said he was a good man.

"I was telling him to be strong, to stay strong because I don't want him to hurt himself or nothing and I don't see him hurting her at all, in anyway," Cianfarani said.

According to arrest papers, John later admitted he was upset because he was tired of changing diapers every day, and told police his wife had drinking problems, associated with liver issues and didn't eat.

"He said he did this because he was upset she soiled herself and ruined the good time. When he woke up the next morning, next to Anja, she was cold and stiff," court documents said.

Days passed before police say John confided in a neighbor that he "killed his wife." That neighbor called 911 and said John "went through years of hardship taking care of Anja" and that he was "tired, strained and in a moment of thoughtlessness," when the accident happened.

Outside of court, the couple's grown son told police his father had been abusive to him and his mother for years, and that he witnessed John hitting his mother as far back as he could remember.

John Dewees is being held on a $175,000 bond and will remain on suicide watch after telling police that he tried to slit his wrists so he could be with his wife in heaven.

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