MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — The family of a Maple Grove woman murdered by her husband in their home last spring announced a plea deal in the case Tuesday.
Prosecutors say Maria Pew Weimelt was strangled to death following an argument with her spouse April 30. That man, 28-year-old Joshua David Fury, was arrested after first pretending that his wife disappeared while on a walk. Investigators say he soon confessed to killing Pew Weimelt and hiding her body in a crawl space under their home. He was quickly charged with second degree murder.
Pew Weimelt's family says prosecutors reached a deal with Fury, agreeing that in exchange for a guilty plea to charges of second-degree murder, the defendant would be sentenced to 456 months, or 38 years in prison.
The deal is confirmed by court documents filed Tuesday following a plea hearing. State sentencing guidelines call for between 20 and 40 years in prison for second-degree murder.
Fury will be officially sentenced July 31 following a pre-sentence investigation.
“There are no winners in the horrible death of our dear angel, Maria. A sentence of 4 million months does not bring Maria back to us," reads a statement released by Pew Weimelt's family. "So, we choose to be who Maria wants us to be……. kind, loving and inspired to use our pain to end domestic violence."
Pew Weimelt's survivors have been outspoken against the epidemic of domestic violence since her death, starting a Facebook campaign called "Maria's Voice." They say Maria is one of 15 intimate partners - wives or girlfriends - murdered in Minnesota this year.
"That just has to end. Those murders left thousands of families, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, first responders and caring communities of people violated and traumatized," the family statement reads. "This needs to stop."