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Texas Man Strangled Wife to Death, Slept Next to Her Body

A Texas man was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Monday for strangling his wife to death during an argument last May. Epifanio Guzman, 43, of Lubbock, claimed he had not realized that he had killed her until he woke up the next morning and saw her dead body, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Guzman and his wife, Rachel Rodriguez, 41, were arguing over indecency charges Guzman was facing for allegedly having sexual contact with a child, according to a report by the Lubbock Avalanche Journal shortly after Guzman’s arrest for Rodriguez’s murder. Guzman had been accused of touching a 7-year-old female relative’s genitals over her clothing.

When questioned, Guzman admitted to investigators that he had strangled his wife from behind until she went limp, and then laid her body in their bed and went to sleep beside her. He claimed that he had not known she was dead until he awoke the next morning and saw blood pooling in her mouth. Guzman then admitted wrapping his wife’s body in a red sleeping bag, putting her body in his car, and dumping it in a secluded area.

When Rodriguez’s body was found in June 2014, Guzman was arrested. He reached a plea deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty on Monday to the murder charge and received a 45 year sentence. As part of the deal, the indecency charge was dropped.

Guzman and Rodriguez knew each other from childhood and then reconnected over two decades later. The Daily Mail reported that Rodriguez “had stayed by Guzman’s side through tough times” — including posting bail for him when he was arrested for the indecency charge, only three days before he killed her.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.

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