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Guilty plea: Maple Grove man admits to killing his wife, burying her and filing a false police report

Officials say the couple was having marital problems that were worsened by the pandemic.

A Maple Grove man has pleaded guilty to killing his wife and hiding her body following marital problems that were exacerbated by the pandemic and the state's stay-at-home order. 

Joshua Fury, 28, pleaded guilty to intentional second-degree murder in 28-year-old Maria Fury's death, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said Tuesday

He will be sentenced on July 31 and is expected to get 38 years in prison – 12.5 years more than presumptive guideline sentencing due to the violent nature of the murder. 

Warning: This story contains upsetting details.

As part of his plea deal, Fury admitted that he and his wife were arguing, causing him to grab his wife's neck and choke her until he heard a snap, the news release said. Then, when she was lying on the floor and still breathing, he put a plastic bag over her head and duct-taped it, causing her to suffocate, he told the court. 

He then attempted to hide his wife's murder by burying her body in a three-foot deep grave he dug in their basement crawl space. He filed a false missing person's report on April 30 and Maria Fury's body was found on May 2. 

After Fury was charged, police continued investigating and discovered the couple was having marital problems prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pandemic and state's stay-at-home order were exacerbating sources of frustration for the couple, which may have contributed to the murder, the attorney's office said, adding that they had been arguing about COVID-19 in the days leading up to her death. 

According to Violence Free Minnesota, a coalition of groups working to end relationship abuse, there have been 14 confirmed victims of intimate partner homicide in Minnesota this year, including Maria Fury. 

If you're experiencing domestic violence, you can find a list of local resources and services here. You can also call the Minnesota Day One Crisis hotline at 1-866-223-1111.

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