Former Marine Caleb Crew was sentenced to life in prison Friday for strangling his wife to death and dumping her body in August 2013.
Last October, Crew pleaded guilty to strangling his wife and mother of his two children Andrea Crew, 31, to death and admitted he dumped her body in the Occoquan River.
Family friends told News4 last year that the Crews had a strained relationship, and that Caleb had been physically and emotionally abusive. Police were called to the couple's Fairfax, Virginia, home in July 2013 when Andrea said her husband poured motor oil on her head.
On Aug. 7, 2013, the couple attended a court hearing about that incident, during which domestic violence charges against Caleb Crew were dropped. The two were on their way home from the hearing when they got into another dispute, and Andrea said she would call police.
In a chilling recorded confession, given to police even before Andrea's body was found, Caleb Crew told a detective what happened, admitting that he began strangling his wife as they sat in his SUV and argued. He said he "didn't want to deal with another 911 call."
"I grabbed her throat.... I said goodbye," he said. Crew said he lifted his wife's 112-pound body into the back seat. "I started crying but I couldn't stop," he said.
Crew said he found his wife still had a pulse, so he took off he necktie he'd worn to court. "I put the the tie on tightly," he said.
A detective asked, "Why?"
According to the recording, Crew responded, "To finish the job.... There is no way I can stop now."
Andrea's close friend Angelica Swahn attended Friday's sentencing.
"She used to call [her daughters] little princesses, that's how I remember Andrea. She was just the best mom. I miss her dearly," Swahn said.
The girls, aged 2 and 6, are living with Andrea's sister in Colombia.