Edward Michael Pautenis

Edward Michael Pautenis

A 62-year-old Hood County man was sentenced on Jan. 17 to life in prison for the October 2019 murder of his wife, which trial testimony revealed had been witnessed by their 7-year-old son and five-year-old daughter. That’s according to a news release emailed to the Hood County News by Hood County District Attorney Ryan Sinclair.

Edward Michael Pautenis earlier had confessed to Texas Rangers investigators that he had killed his wife, Jennifer. But at trial Pautenis pleaded not guilty to both the murder and to another felony charge, tampering with evidence, in connection with hiding a vehicle in which he had taken the victim’s body to dump in a remote area.

The jury gave Pautenis a 10-year prison term for tampering in addition to the life in prison sentence, and they will run concurrently.

Sinclair and Assistant District Attorney Willem VanZeben presented the case to the jury, the news release states, and 355th District Court Judge Bryan Bufkin presided over the trial.

A more detailed version of this article will be published in the Wednesday, Jan. 25 edition of the Hood County News. The news of the verdict was not available by the deadline for the Saturday, Jan. 21 edition.