Minister Stuns Maryland Courtroom by Confessing to Murdering His Wife

An ordained minister from Upper Marlboro, Maryland appeared in court Wednesday to appeal a life sentence on charges he murdered his wife -- and shocked the courtroom by confessing to the crime.

Spencer Chase admitted for the first time in court Wednesday that he murdered his wife of 20 years, Antoinette Chase, in 2008.

After having served six years in prison, Chase asked a judge on Wednesday that he be set free in nine years. While speaking in his own defense, Chase admitted to killing his wife.

"I stand here today a guilty man -- guilty of taking a life of someone I pledged to love and protect," he said, speaking as if he were delivering a sermon.

Judge Beverly Woodard denied Spencer's request.

"The only thing I can say is I’m glad you admitted that you did it," the judge said.

"There is no doubt in my mind that you killed her," she said after Chase was convicted in August 2010. A previous trial ended in a mistrial when the jury failed to reach a verdict.

Antoinette Chase's daughter, Monique Davis, said the courtroom confession stunned her.

"I was very shocked because for seven years he's denied it," she said about her stepfather, who was a minister at Heritage Church International in Waldorf.

Antoinette Chase, 46, was found strangled to death May 20, 2008 in the couple's home. She worked as an analyst for the Department of Homeland Security and was in the process of splitting from her husband, The Washington Post reported when Spencer Chase was sentenced.

Spencer called 911 and pretended he was not responsible for her death, said John Erzen, a spokesman for the Prince George's County State's Attorney.

"He horrifically and brutally murdered his wife and then went and ran errands like nothing happened," he said.

Spencer Chase was arrested after a detective electronically tracked the location of Antoinette Chase's cell phone and found the phone and gloves with the victim and attacker's DNA inside a storm drain, the Post reported.

Davis said while her stepfather serves his prison time, she is suffering a kind of sentence, too.

"I’m doing a life sentence, too, because I have to live without her," she said.

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