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Originally published Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Man who lured wife to noose gets 12-year prison sentence

It wasn't actually a haunted house. Her husband just told her that to get her to the garage. Now, nearly a year later, Sean A. Jennings, 38, will spend...

The Spokesman-Review

It wasn't actually a haunted house. Her husband just told her that to get her to the garage.

Now, nearly a year later, Sean A. Jennings, 38, will spend 12 years in prison for the attempted hanging of his wife last October, according to a plea agreement filed Tuesday.

Along with probation and fines, Jennings was ordered to have no contact with his ex-wife, who called police from a Wal-Mart two days after her husband lured her into a noose in the garage by telling her he'd set up a haunted house for Halloween.

Jennings pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder, according to Spokane Superior Court documents. He originally faced a first-degree attempted-murder charge.

"He just felt horrible about the whole thing," said his public defender, Anna Nordtvedt. "He thought that the offer and the amended charge reflected what happened."

Nordtvedt said Jennings apologized to a judge and has shown only remorse during the time she has spent with him.

"There were a lot of issues happening with both of them. ... I think that there were some contributing factors," she said.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Lindsey did not return a phone message left Tuesday afternoon.

The woman said she was working on a computer at the couple's home on North Audubon Street on Oct. 7 when Jennings called her to the garage to see a haunted house. Saying he wanted to surprise her, Jennings blindfolded his wife, then handcuffed her and slipped a noose around her neck after she stepped up on a ladder, according to a Spokane police report.

The two struggled, and Jennings released his wife of a year and a half just as she lost consciousness, according to the report. The woman told police Jennings had told her that hanging her was "better than getting a divorce," according to the report.

After his wife regained consciousness, Jennings told her to put aloe vera on the rope burn and then hide it with a neck brace, according to police.

The couple's divorce was finalized a month later, according to newspaper records.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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