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Police: Burley woman tried to kill husband by putting trash bag over his head

From the September crime report: Former lawmaker arrested, murder trial, stabbing sentencing and more series
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Mildred Nineth Hope

Mildred Nineth Hope

BURLEY — A Burley woman is charged with attempted first-degree murder after police said she put a garbage bag over her partially paralyzed husband’s head while he was taking a nap in a reclining chair on Sunday. When he awoke, she held him down as he struggled to breathe, court records say.

Mildred Nineth Hope, 57, is also charged with felony counts of attempted strangulation and destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.

She was arraigned Monday via video in Cassia County magistrate court and a judge set her bond at $1 million. Hope did not enter a plea during the hearing.

Police were called to the southeast Burley residence for a domestic disturbance and found Hope sitting on the couch in the living room. The couple were separated as officers talked to them.

Hope’s husband told police he’d suffered a stroke eight years ago and lost 80% of the function on his right side. He met his future wife in September 2019, and they were married in February 2020.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday, he laid down in the chair in the living room and covered himself with a small blanket, he said. Hope grabbed another blanket from the home office and began covering him up, tucking the sides “into the chair very tightly,” court records said.

He fell asleep, but woke up suddenly with a white plastic garbage bag over his head, he reported to police.

Due to the combination of the paralysis, the blanket being tucked tightly around him and Hope holding him down, he began fighting for his life, court records said.

He told police he struggled as he became deprived of oxygen but was able to tear a small hole in the bag and take a breath.

Hope then repositioned and tightened the bag and he again began to fight to breathe, police said.

The man was able to dig his feet into the footrest of the recliner and push back in an attempt to free himself from his wife and the bag, he told police.

The chair broke and he rolled out of it and onto the floor. Hope was standing on his left side. She grabbed the bag and two black tie-down straps that were next to the chair and left the room, court records said.

The man called his sister and told her what had happened and his sister called 911.

When an officer recited Miranda rights to Hope, she would not answer him, police said.

She said she wanted to go to the hospital but officers placed her in handcuffs before she was taken to jail.

Officers asked Hope where the garbage bag was and she told them to check the garbage cans, court records said.

They found the bag stuffed halfway down a trash can and covered with wastepaper and food. The bag had nothing in it, but there were two stretch marks on it the size of hands and fingers along with two small holes in it. They also recovered two black straps from the home office and the two blankets that were near the chair.

Officers said the fully reclined chair appeared to be broken and was tipped to one side.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set at for Oct. 1 in Cassia County magistrate court.

Authorities say a body discovered Sunday in Wyoming is believed to be Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. The FBI said the body was found by law enforcement agents who had spent the past two days searching campgrounds.

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