In a truly bizarre and creepy case, a Michigan man who was found sleeping with his dead wife’s body and charged with first-degree murder has pleaded to a lesser crime.
Jeff Charles Sherwood, 47, of Hazel Park, MI, pleaded guilty recently to second-degree homicide for the death of Susan Louise Klepsch, 64. In exchange, a first-degree homicide charge was dismissed.
Klepsch died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck in March 2020 at the Hazel Park home she shared with Sherwood. He purportedly slept with her body for days after killing her.
Police, acting on a tip, had gone to the couple’s home on March 28, 2020, and found Klepsch’s body. While investigators were on the scene, Sherwood reportedly tried to hang himself in the basement.
Police said Sherwood initially said he and his wife had made a murder-suicide pact because they feared they’d die from COVID-19. Later, he admitted beating and strangling her after she accused him of infidelity, police said.
It’s believed Sherwood had been sleeping with Klepsch’s body for up to a week, based on evidence from the Oakland County Medical Examiner and police investigators.
Sherwood underwent psychiatric evaluation and was declared competent to stand trial, which had been scheduled before Oakland County Circuit Judge Daniel O’Brien. Sherwood subsequently opted out of trial and pleaded to the second-degree homicide charge on January 24. Sentencing is scheduled for February 17.