PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - A Pike County man accused of murdering his wife has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Bruce Dillon accepted a guilty plea for first degree manslaughter Friday afternoon, and he could spend less than two decades in jail.
Dillon spent more than one year in jail facing a murder charge for the death of his wife Sherry.
Sherry Dillon disappeared July of last year and nearly one month later was found buried in a small freezer in their yard.
Friday afternoon Bruce Dillon admitted guilt to a lesser charge of manslaughter.
"We felt pretty confident in going forward, but there's always risk in trying to prosecute a case whenever you don't have an exact cause of death," said Assistant Pike County Commonwealth Attorney Ron Burchett.
The medical examiner could not determine exactly what killed Sherry Dillon only guessing that it was probably asphyxiation from being put into the freezer.
That was just one reason prosecutors were uneasy going forward.
"He had a young son. He would have had to testify at trial, and it would have been pretty traumatic for him," said Burchett.
Attorneys say they made the agreement under the stipulation that Bruce Dillon not make any statements then or at his formal sentencing that his wife's death was somehow an accident.
"All that would be inconsistent with the plea of first degree manslaughter and would be contrary," said Burchett during the hearing.
The guilty plea came with a recommended 19 year sentence meaning Bruce Dillon could be out jail by age 72.
He will be formally sentenced December 13.
He declined our request for an interview.