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Police Say Washington Man Killed His Wife

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WASHINGTON - A Washington man is being held on a $100,000 cash bond after investigators say he killed his wife Monday after she had backed into the couple's garage.

James D. Blum, 70, of Washington, is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of his wife, Patricia Blum, 67. In a criminal complaint, investigators say Blum pinned his wife face down on a couch, then strangled her for a few minutes. Blum admitted he wanted to kill his wife, according to the criminal complaint in the case.

The Blum home is at 1009 E. Washington St. (Highway 92), a main road heading east from downtown Washington. Christmas lights and ornaments still dot the house where emergency responders took Patricia Blum away on Monday afternoon. She was pronounced dead at the Washington County Hospital.

Patricia Blum was transported to the Washington County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Investigators say James and Patricia Blum had been having troubles for some time. A next-door neighbor, Pam Winget, said the Blums moved in about six years ago and that they kept to themselves. Winget did describe a series of confrontations, throughout the years, she had with both James Blum and Patricia Blum. Winget said the conflicts often stemmed from property disputes and that the Blums often called local police to report the driveway their two homes shared was blocked.

"We were afraid to leave the house, but they stuck to themselves," said Winget, who said she has lived on Washington Street since 1996. "We put up a little fence because they were always sitting there and starting at us."
Blum's preliminary hearing on the second-degree murder charge is scheduled for Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. at the Washington County Courthouse.

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