Tennessee man sentenced in 1986 killing of wife

Deborah Bess, Jewell Bess
Deborah Bess

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) – A Middle Tennessee man has been sentenced to life in prison in the 1986 death of his wife.

Deborah Bess, Jewell Bess
Jewell “Moses” Bess

The Daily News Journal reports Jewell “Moses” Bess must serve a minimum of 23 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.

He was sentenced Friday in the death of Deborah Bess in a case that was originally ruled a suicide.

The investigation of the fatal shooting was reopened in 2011 and a Rutherford County grand jury indicted Bess in 2014.

During his trial last June, Bess denied that he shot his wife and said she shot herself.

His adult son, Michael Bess, testified he saw his father hold a gun to Deborah Bess’ head. He said the gun went off when she tried to move it.

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