WELCH — After hearing a letter read from his victim’s family, a McDowell man who shot and then dismembered his wife in 2016 was sentenced Monday to the maximum of 40 years for second-degree murder.
Woody Alfred Wood Jr., 36, of the English area in McDowell County was brought before Circuit Court Judge Rudolph J. Murensky for sentencing. Wood pleaded guilty last August to second degree murder. He had been facing first-degree murder for the shooting death of his wife, Rebecca Wood.
According to court records, Wood shot his wife on or about March 29, 2016 after arguing with her. Wood then dismembered her body, placed those body parts in trash bags, and buried them in their home’s basement. Wood later spoke with investigators and confessed to murdering his wife, McDowell County Sheriff Martin B. West said soon after the arrest.
Rebecca Wood’s eldest sister, Cynthia Harman, read a letter from the family, and called the murder “a heinous, senseless act.”
Harman said her sister gave half the home to Woody Wood as an anniversary gift and loved him, only to be dismembered by the man who was supposed to love her.
“We understand he had help because Becky was a very big woman,” Harman said. “We pray that every time they close their eyes, they will see her.”
McDowell County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Kornish said that he believed Wood had help disposing of his wife’s body, but this had not been proven. An investigation into who could have helped Wood dispose of a bloodstained mattress is continuing.
“Every homicide is a horrific matter because someone has lost their life,” Mursensky said when sentencing Wood. “The defendant gave a statement to the police which I disallowed, but I don’t believe it was accurate because if you believed it, (shooting) was an accident.”
“We do know Becky is deceased as a result of Mr. Wood’s actions,” Mursensky stated.
Mursensky sentenced Wood to the maximum of 40 years in prison, adding, “It probably should be more.”
Harman held a small purple snowman doll while she addressed her court. She said her 4-year-old granddaughter, Hailey, made it while the children were making snowman dolls because she wanted Aunt Becky to have one, too. Purple was Rebecca Wood’s favorite color.
Wood first declined to make a statement, but after being sentenced, he told Murensky that he wanted to address his wife's family.
Murensky denied the request, reminding Wood that he had had a chance to say something, but declined it. He told Wood if he wanted to say anything now, he could write a letter.