Chantilly Man Pleads Guilty to Wife’s Murder; to be Sentenced Nov. 18

The Chantilly man who killed his wife three years ago by slitting her throat after their children went to bed pled guilty to first-degree murder today.

Frank Price, 50, pled guilty on Thursday to the Oct. 28, 2017 murder of his 36-year-old wife, Winsome Marie West Price. That night, Price cut his wife’s throat as she attempted to leave him. According to a Sept. 7 letter from the woman who adopted the Price’s three children, Eve Marie Barner Gleason, West Price “felt violence and the threat of it” in her marriage, and made a plan to start over and build a new life with her children.

The case was scheduled to head to a 7-day jury trial beginning Oct. 13, but last month Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Johnson and Price’s defense attorney, Wayne Kim, reached an agreement on a plea deal in which Price is to be sentenced to serve 42 years of active prison time.

Now that Price has pled guilty to first-degree murder, he will be sentenced Nov. 18. At that time, Judge Stephen E. Sincavage will hear witness impact statements and have the option to accept or reject the plea deal.

If Sincavage accepts the deal, he could sentence Price to life in prison—the maximum sentence for a Class 2 felony—and suspend all but 42 years of that time. If he rejects the deal, Price will have the chance to rescind his guilty plea and the case will head to trial. That trial could yield a guilty verdict from the jury and a stiffer sentence than the agreed-to 42 years in the plea deal.

That deal already goes above the recommended sentencing guidelines. According to sentencing guidelines, Price should be sentenced anywhere from 22 years and 11 months in prison to 38 years and three months in prison.

Last month, Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj said the plea deal would avoid the trauma and uncertainty of a trial and preclude any chance of appeal. It would also essentially sentence Price to a life sentence, since he would not be released from prison until he is 89 years old.

“We believe this closure is important,” Johnson told Sincavage in court on Thursday.

In Barner Gleason’s letter to Biberaj, she wrote that West Price’s “voice was often silenced in a home that revolved around the preferences and mandates of Frank Price.”

“[S]he made a plan to start over and build a new life with her children. But that plan did not succeed,” Barner Gleason wrote.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

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