A "much-loved" teacher has been shot in the back of the head by her unemployed husband, who tried to claim she shot herself.
Stephanie Politte, 29, had been sleeping in her Texas home as husband Daniel Politte hovered over her and took a final picture of his wife, as evidence on his mobile phone showed. But seconds later, a bullet was fired into the back of her skull.
When he called 911 and spoke to the emergency operator, he sounded hysterical and desperate, pretending he did not know what happened.
"I don't know what's wrong with her, but she's drowning in her own blood!" he cried, reported the Mirror.
"I'm afraid she's gonna die," he exclaimed, as Stephanie could be heard fighting for breath in the background.
Stephanie was a teacher who worked with autistic children in Missouri City. While her career blossomed, her husband of two years was unemployed the whole time.
Politte, 30, shot his wife on 11 March, 2014. As he spoke to the emergency operator, he made no mention she was shot and sounded like he was doing everything to save her life, as he was given instructions how to perform CPR.
When paramedics arrived, they were stunned to discover a bullet wound in the back of her head, a gun nearby and a spent shell casing.
Politte was taken outside as paramedics tended to his wife, but it was too late. Stephanie was declared dead at the scene.
Outside, Politte was sat in a police car, unaware that there was a dash cam that records audio in the vehicle.
"I'm f****d," he was recorded saying, before officers told Politte his wife was dead – apparently triggering no emotion.
During questioning, Politte claimed he had been trying to get the gun from Stephanie because she was going to harm herself, and it had gone off in the struggle.
Appearing in Fort Bend County court in October 2016, Politte pleaded not guilty. His defence claimed that Stephanie struggled with depression and, on the night of her death, was three times the legal limit due to her drinking. He also said she suffered with body-image issues which her family refuted.
Experts, however, said it was impossible that Stephanie could have shot herself in the head. They demonstrated she died from a bullet that had travelled from back to front, from 12-15 inches away from her head.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I am not telling you he is guilty because he is lying, I am telling you he is lying because he is guilty," the prosecution announced.
After deliberating for an hour and a half, the jury found Politte guilty. He was given a sentence of 85 years for the murder of his wife and must serve a minimum of 30 years before he is eligible for parole.