SANDPOINT — A Priest River man pleaded guilty Tuesday to murdering his wife and their unborn daughter last December.
In exchange for Jeremy Keith Swanson’s pleas, Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall will not seek charge enhancements or the death penalty.
Family members of Jennifer Bosch-Swanson held hands and some wept quietly inside the cramped courtroom when Swanson admitted his guilt.
They have declined to comment on the case.
Marshall will recommend a fixed term of life in prison without parole when Swanson, 27, is sentenced in 1st District Court in June. Chief Public Defender Isabella Robertson remains free to argue for a lesser sentence.
Swanson remains in custody without bail.
Swanson was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for stabbing his wife to death with kitchen implements, which led to the death of the unborn child, who was 15-18 weeks in utero.
After Swanson admitted that the first-degree murder charge was true, Judge Benjamin Simpson asked about the nature of premeditation in the killing.
“I thought about doing it beforehand,” Swanson replied. “I did research on it.”
Jennifer Bosch-Swanson, also 27, was stabbed repeatedly in the head and torso and sheriff’s investigators testified at a prior hearing that they discovered incriminating Internet searches on a computer in the home.
Swanson further admitted under questioning by the court that he was aware his wife was pregnant when he attacked her with an ice pick and knife on Dec. 18, 2013. The attack occurred after an argument, Swanson allegedly told investigators.
Simpson accepted Swanson’s pleas as being voluntarily entered after methodically advising him of his rights and the ones he was waiving by pleading guilty.
“Guilt or innocence is no longer an issue,” said Simpson, who also reminded Swanson that he was not required to adopt the sentence recommendations.
After the hearing, Marshall determined a plea agreement was appropriate after speaking with the victim’s family and reviewing the circumstances of the case. Marshall said he opted against capital punishment because Swanson had no prior criminal history and has potential mental health issues. Also, the victim’s family did not wish to see Swanson executed, Marshall said.
Robertson said plea negotiations have been under way early on in the case and said her client accepted the plea agreement to avoid putting further strain on his family and that of his wife’s.
“He did it for all the people involved,” Robertson said of her client’s decision to accept the agreement.