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Woman killed husband, buried body in manure

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 15:20:03-04

A Huntley Hearing for Charlene Mess was canceled Thursday after the Wyoming County woman pleaded guilty, admitting she killed her husband and buried his body in manure.

Mess, 49, pleaded guilty Thursday morning to first degree manslaughter. She will face a determinate sentence of 18 to 25 years in prison with 2.5-5 years of post release supervision. She will be formally sentenced in June. A determinate sentence means Mess must serve at least 6/7ths of her actual sentence.

Mess was arrested last April after 52-year-old Douglas Mess was reported missing by his son. Douglas had not been seen since the night before and did not show up to work. State Police found Douglas's body buried in a pile of manure at the back of the farm following a ground and aerial search.

Authorities say his wife of 30 years hit him in the head and body with a pitchfork before shooting him in the back of the head with a .22 rifle. She then buried his body in the manure.

Doctors for the defense claimed Mess was not competent to stand trial. But the examinations by doctors hired by the district attorney showed otherwise. A Huntley Hearing was called to determine if Mess could stand trial, but that was canceled due to her guilty plea.

Mess was originally charged with second degree murder, criminal use of a firearm, first degree and second degree assault, tampering with evidence, offering a false instrument to file and false written statement.

As part of her guilty plea, she waived her right to appeal.