A judge on Tuesday sentenced a Michigan man who kept his dead wife’s body in a freezer for months to prison.
Isabella County Circuit Judge Mark Duthie sentenced Terrell York to two to eight years in prison, exceeding advisory guidelines that ranged from zero to 12 months, MLive.com reported. Duthie told York in court that the facts of his case were “horrible,” and that family and friends deserve closure when a person dies.
“A person’s body after death should be treated with dignity,” Dutchie said. “It should be treated with respect. It shouldn’t be stuffed in a freezer like a piece of meat. Your conduct is outrageous.”
York declined the chance to speak during the sentencing.
Sheriff’s deputies found 67-year-old Patricia York’s body in a chest freezer the Deerfield Township house she shared with York in April. The deputies searched the house after Patricia York’s daughter had called them saying she hadn’t heard from her mother in two years.
York initially told the deputies that his wife had moved out and was living with family in Newago, Michigan. He later told investigators that she died of natural causes in September 2022 but he didn’t tell anyone and placed her body in the freezer.
Isabella County Prosecutor David Barberi said investigators weren’t able to determine the cause of Patricia’s death. He argued that York didn’t report her death because he wanted to go on collecting her Social Security payments. Deputies wrote that he spent her benefits on food and bills.
Terrell York’s attorney, Ann Chamberlain, said during the sentencing that both Yorks were struggling with medical issues. Terrell York lost his job due to them, she said.
“It’s unfortunate and he still is grieving over the situation,” she said.