05/28/2024

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Chae Kyong An seen in court on April 22, 2024, for his sentencing in kidnapping and trying to murder his wife. (Screenshot: KING)

Former military officer sentenced for burying wife alive in shallow grave after kidnapping her from home

Chae Kyong An seen in court on April 22, 2024, for his sentencing in kidnapping and trying to murder his wife. (Screenshot: KING)

A Washington state man was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison to be followed by three months of community custody for kidnapping his estranged wife from her home and burying her alive in an attempt to commit second-degree murder.

“The defendant’s estranged wife bravely addressed the court to tell her story, stating that it was painful to talk about what she had been through,” Thurston County prosecutors wrote about the Monday hearing. “She added, ‘With courage, I must tell my story.’”

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    As reported at the time, authorities said that Chae Kyong An, 54, kidnapped his estranged wife from her home in the city of Lacey on Oct. 16, 2022. The woman had previously put out a domestic violence protection order against him. An bound her in duct tape, even going as far as to cover her eyes, but she managed to use her Apple Watch to send an emergency notification to trusted contacts, including her eldest child.

    “Dispatch advised they could hear muffled screaming and sounds of a struggle. Officers arrived and found the garage door to the residence open,” cops wrote at the time of the crime in October 2022. “Shortly thereafter the children of the resident arrived home and told officers their mother and father were at the home when they left to go to the store about a half an hour prior. Officers cleared the home and no one was located. There was used duct tape found in the home; it is believed to have been used on the victim.”

    Authorities say that An dragged the woman into the woods and stabbed her. He buried her in a hole 65 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 19 inches deep, putting dirt and and even a tree on her.

    She believed herself to be there for hours, but she managed to get out of the duct tape and escape.

    It was the next day, on Oct. 17, that a resident of Stedman Road SE woke up to the sound of the woman pounding on the door and asking for help.

    “My husband is trying to kill me,” the woman told a responding deputy, according to Fox Seattle affiliate KCPQ. “Help me.”

    Authorities said she had walked between 20 and 30 minutes to that home.

    As for Chae An, a person walking on a trail found his vehicle approximately 200 yards off Stedman Road in the woods. In minutes, Thurston County deputies and Lacey cops responded, found the vehicle and arrested the defendant.

    He ultimately reached a plea deal with prosecutors, who asked him to be sentenced to the higher end of the sentencing guidelines, according to Seattle NBC affiliate KING.

    The defense said that the defendant, a former military intelligence warrant officer of three decades, lived with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to The Olympian. He was homeless at the time of the crime, the defense said.

    “Psychological testing by both the State and Defense agree that Mr. An was experiencing PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) related symptoms during the events of October 16, 2022,” attorney Michael Austin Stewart reportedly wrote.

    More Law&Crime coverage: After wife refused to cuddle him, husband stabbed her to death in front of their 5-year-old daughter, cops say

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    The post Former military officer sentenced for burying wife alive in shallow grave after kidnapping her from home first appeared on Law & Crime.