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Washington Man Suspected of Wife's Murder Gives Police Conflicting Stories

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A Washington man who investigators say killed his wife has given police conflicting stories.

In an affidavit from Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman, it says James Blum, 70, called 911 Monday around 2:12 p.m. and reported he thought he killed his wife, saying he smothered her and she had no pulse and was not breathing.

But during the conversation with the dispatcher, Blum changed his story regarding what happened.

Goodman said when emergency personal responded to 1009 E. Washington St., they found Patricia Blum, 67, slumped over the coffee table in the home with her coat on and she had no pulse and was not breathing.

Law enforcement initially left the interior of the home and a search was not conducted, Goodman said, but Blum asked officers to re-enter the home to make sure the house keys were on the desk in the home.

Goodman said an officer re-entered the home and saw a note on the desk indicating two names of individuals that said in writing that two individuals "caused this," and that "I killed Patty."

The home and garage have been secured by law enforcement since then, Goodman said.

When questioned by police, Blum said his wife had attempted to leave the home, but she backed her car into their garage. Blum said he then pushed her on the couch face first, sat on her and smothered her.

Blum also admitted to police that he did not call 911 for more than 20 minutes after his wife was unresponsive.

He faces a second-degree murder charge and is being held on a $100,000 bond.

The difference between first- and second-degree murder is whether it was premeditated. The prison time for second-degree is 50 years with the possibility of parole, as opposed to life for first-degree without the possibility of parole.

Blum's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. at the Washington County Courthouse.

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