Mercer County woman gets up to 52 years in prison for killing husband after he asked for divorce
A Mercer County woman accused of killing her husband in a fit of rage after he asked her for a divorce was sentenced to 23 ½ to 52 years in prison, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Tuesday.
Amy Emmett, 49, of Hempfield Township pleaded no contest to third-degree murder and related charges for fatally shooting her husband in the summer of 2015. The no-contest plea means that she will not challenge the conviction while neither disputing nor admitting guilt.
Prosecutors had argued that Emmett shot her husband multiple times and then turned the gun on herself in an attempted murder-suicide.
Family members in impact statements described Emmett “as someone who always had to be in control and ostracized herself, her husband and their children from the rest of the family,” the Herald reported.
Emmett’s son told the court that he feared for his life and slept with a knife under his pillow “in fear she would do something.” Emmett’s daughter said that “if you didn’t do what she wanted, there would be consequences.”
On July 26, 2015, Sharon police found Amy Emmett and her husband, William “Bill” Emmett, suffering from gunshot wounds in a parking lot near Sharon Regional Hospital, where William Emmett worked as a nurse. A silver handgun lay between them.
Investigators determined that Amy Emmett, who owned the gun, shot her husband several times, hitting him once in the neck and twice in the chest, then shot herself twice in the torso, police said.
Bill Emmett died in the parking lot. He was 45.
On her body, Amy Emmett had written instructions about what to do with her finances, whom she wanted to take custody of her children and an addendum to her will, the Herald reported.
Text messages exchanged earlier that day show that Bill Emmett had told Amy Emmett he wanted a divorce, prosecutors said.
A witness described seeing a woman standing over a man in the lot, then dropping an object that looked like a gun.
Amy Emmett admitted to police that she brought her gun to the parking lot and that she shot herself twice.
When police asked her if she also shot her husband, she said she didn’t know.
The couple had no history of domestic violence, Shapiro said.
Shapiro said the “evidence points to the motive as rage after the defendant’s husband asked for a divorce.”
The Mercer County District Attorney’s Office referred the case to the Attorney General in February 2017 after determining a conflict of interest.
Judge Robert G. Yeatts imposed the sentence, which included 20 to 40 years for first-degree murder; 2 ½ to 7 years for possessing a firearm without a license; and 1 to 5 years for possessing an instrument of crime.
“Today’s sentence ensures that the defendant will remain in prison for a significant period of time,” Shapiro said Tuesday.
Amy Emmett will be eligible for parole at age 72.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, email@example.com or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .