South Carolina man gets 12 years for beating wife to death

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NEWBERRY, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man accused of beating his wife to death has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

The State reports Curtis Brian Varner faced life in prison on a murder charge in the slaying of 63-year-old Cathy Varner. His plea to the lesser charge was part of a deal in which he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, less than half the maximum sentence for manslaughter. The 58-year-old also got credit for the 14 months he was jailed after being arrested.

Newberry police were called to check on Cathy Varner last summer and found her unresponsive. An autopsy determined she died from blunt force injuries as a result of being beaten. Police Chief Roy McClurkin has said officers had previously responded to the couple’s home for domestic disturbance calls.

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