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Man gets life for killing wife after lying about wreck

July 12, 2021 GMT

EDGEFIELD, S.C. (AP) — A 39-year-old man has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his wife in front of her two children after luring her to a secluded peach orchard by texting he had been in a wreck, prosecutors said.

Michael Tirrell Means was recently found guilty of murder in Edgefield County, the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said in a statement.

Means emptied his wife’s bank account before texting her early one morning in July 2019 saying he had been in a wreck, prosecutors said.

When 46-year-old Yumonica Pate Means arrived at the orchard near state Highway 191, they argued outside and Michael Means shot his wife in the head while her children were in her vehicle, authorities said.

A 10-year-old called 911 to report the shooting, prosecutors said.

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Means’ criminal record meant he couldn’t legally have a gun, but he bought the weapon in Georgia two says before the shooting in a private transaction without a background check, authorities said.

By luring his wife to a lonely place after cleaning out her bank account, Means showed he planned the killing and had malice in his heart, prosecutors said in their closing statement.

Means was sentenced to life without parole.