AP NEWS

Man faces 7 1/2 to 15 years after plea in wife’s 1981 death

December 18, 2019 GMT

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A man faces 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of his wife in suburban Philadelphia almost four decades ago.

Seventy-six-year-old Wiliam Korzon also pleaded guilty Wednesday in Bucks County Court to forgery related to the 1981 death of Gloria Korzon.

Gloria Korzon went to work in Horsham on March 6, 1981, and was never seen or heard from after that. She was 37. Police said William Korzon told her manager to terminate her due to poor mental and physical health, then he took her belongings and requested her final paycheck. She was declared dead in 1997 but her body was never found.

Korzon said Wednesday he accidentally killed his wife during an argument in their Warrington Township home in 1981. He said she fired a shot at him with his 9mm handgun, and after an argument over the firearm he shot her in the head in self-defense, afterward disposing of her body in the Delaware River near Lambertville, New Jersey.

Prosecutors said Korzon acted in the “unbelievable belief that he was justified in using deadly force” when he shot his wife after years of violent arguments, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

After his arraignment in April, he had denied having killed his wife, telling reporters that “she went to Florida,” but his attorney said Wednesday he had decided to accept responsibility.

“He had lived with this for half his life, he felt it was time to finally unburden himself and give the family and everyone else closure,” defense attorney Keith Williams said.

Investigators alleged that he continued to forge her signature on documents and other materials for years to make it appear she was still alive, but a former girlfriend found her license, social security card, medical insurance card and voter registration at his home in 1986.

Authorities also said various police departments had investigated alleged assaults of the victim, many of which required hospitalization. The abuse was documented in letters from her to her attorney.