WELCH — A McDowell County man who shot his wife in April 2016, dismembered her body and buried it her home's basement pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder.

Woody Alfred Wood Jr., 36, of the English area in McDowell County was arrested April 2, 2016 and charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Rebecca Wood. According to court records, Wood had a fight with his wife on or about March 29, 2016, and shot her in the head. Wood then dismembered and buried her. He later surrendered himself to deputies with the McDowell County Sheriff's Department.

Wood later spoke with investigators and confessed to the murder of his wife, Sheriff Martin B. West said later. Wood then revealed where she could be found in his basement. Local authorities waited until the West Virginia State Police Mobile Forensics Team arrived before searching the home.

Prosecuting Attorney Ed Kornish said Friday that Wood entered into a guilty plea before Circuit Court Judge Rudolph J. Murensky. Wood pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

The penalty for second-degree murder ranges from 10 to 40 years, Kornish said. It will be a determinate sentence, meaning that it will have a set number of years.

Kornish stated that the state was recommending the maximum term of 40 years. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 23 before Murensky.

In West Virginia, first-degree murder carries a term of life in prison. Juries can recommend mercy, which would make a person convicted of murder eligible for parole after serving 15 years of the sentence; however, parole is not guaranteed.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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