Nearly a year after the state Supreme Court overturned her 30-year sentence for aggravated manslaughter, Marie Hess pleaded guilty Thursday to killing her husband. She faces up to 27 years in prison, but is hoping for less.
Hess, 47, admitted she fatally shot her sleeping husband, Burlington Township Patrolman Jimmy Hess, in their township home on Aug. 19, 1999. Under the plea agreement, she would not be paroled until she serves 85 percent of her new sentence, but would get credit for the 13 years she has spent in prison.
But when she is sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert in Mount Holly, her lawyer this time will be permitted to argue for leniency because of evidence that her 35-year-old husband had abused her and that a psychiatrist diagnosed her with battered wife syndrome.