A 70-year-old man recently pleaded guilty to stabbing his 65-year-old wife to death in 2019 after lying about their finances.

On April 5, 2019, at approximately 7 a.m., Roy Browning called Iowa City police and said his wife, JoEllen Browning, was unresponsive in their home, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. She had reportedly been stabbed in the front and back of her torso, as well as on her hand.

The victim’s death was ruled a homicide, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Roy Browning’s DNA was reportedly discovered on fingernail clippings from the victim.

On the day of JoEllen Browning’s fatal stabbing, she and her husband were scheduled to meet with a financial institution, reports show.

In April, JoEllen reportedly emailed her husband about bank account discrepancies, and she asked him to talk to someone from their bank. According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the banker they were going to meet with was going to tell the Brownings that money was withdrawn from a joint account, and Roy had taken out high-interest loans without JoEllen’s knowledge. JoEllen reportedly had a retirement and life insurance policy worth more than $2 million.

Roy initially pleaded not guilty in November 2019, but on Wednesday, Oct. 12, he entered a guilty plea to one charge of second-degree murder, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. Roy reportedly faces a maximum 50-year sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 2, and he remains held in the Johnson County Jail on $5 million bail, records show.

Prior to her death, JoEllen worked as an administrator with the University of Iowa health system, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

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