A rural Moundville man pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder for the death of his wife a year and a half ago.
Mark Bishop, 43, was charged after his wife, Mary, died in a Joplin hospital Oct. 3, 2011, two days after an assault at the Bishop home.
Bishop pleaded guilty during a Vernon County Circuit Court hearing of just under 30 minutes Friday, March 8. Judge James R. Bickel sentenced him to 17 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Prosecuting Attorney Lynn M. Ewing III recommended the 17-year sentence after telling the judge Mary’s death resulted from a physical assault and several witnesses would have testified about previous physical assaults in the relationship. Mary Bishop’s mother, Delores Ivisics, addressed the court briefly during the hearing.
Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher and several of his deputies provided increased security in the courtroom.
A trial on the second-degree murder charge had been scheduled to start Tuesday, March 12.