Former Marine pleads guilty to killing wife

WASHINGTON – A former Marine charged with strangling his wife and then dumping her body in the Occoquan River pleaded guilty to killing her Monday as his trial was to begin in Fairfax County.

Caleb Crew pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the death of his wife Andrea Crew, 31, as evidence was being submitted at the start of trial. His sentencing is set for Jan. 9.

Although the trial did not proceed, the prosecution is expected to continue presenting its evidence against Crew again Tuesday.

Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Casey Lingan said that he was surprised by Crew’s unexpected plea. He said no plea deals had been offered.

Andrea Crew’s body was found by a boater in August 2013, after her husband reported her missing.

Prosecutors read Caleb Crew’s account of the killing. In a taped interview with police, Crew admitted that he strangled his wife outside a bank following a domestic dispute. He removed his tie and placed it around her neck to continue his attack. He then left her body in a park in Springfield.

Crew picked up his children and went home. While his children were sleeping, Crew retrieved his wife’s body and and took it to the Fairfax-Prince William county line. He loaded a backpack with pieces of granite and dumbbells from his home and placed them on Andrea Crew’s body before dumping her into the river, according to Crew’s account.

The couple had been in court together earlier that day for a hearing, during which time domestic violence charges against Caleb Crew were dropped. They were seen leaving the courthouse holding hands. Surveillance video also shows Crew wearing the same tie investigators found wrapped around Andrea Crew.

Caleb Crew, who grew up in Woodbridge, Virginia, and served as a Marine in Afghanistan, had been accused of pouring oil on his wife after another fight.

The couple previously fought about money, and Andrea Crew, a native of Colombia, suggested moving their young daughters there, NBC4 reports.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report from Fairfax. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on WTOP Facebook page.

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WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report from Fairfax. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on WTOP Facebook page.

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