January 22, 2010 in City

Wife-killer receives 18-year sentence

Husband hid death with phony text messages
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Theirs was a marriage rife with arguments and abuse. She broke free and sought help, undergoing therapy and getting legal assistance to contest a child custody agreement she thought was unfair.

But Becky Brosnan, 32, agreed to meet last January with her estranged husband, Uriah Brosnan, at a roofing company where he worked in Spokane Valley. Her body was found nearly two weeks later.

Now Uriah J. Brosnan, 34, will serve 18 years in prison for second-degree murder in a sentence imposed Thursday by a Spokane County Superior Court judge who said it just wasn’t long enough.

“This was a vicious murder that went on for some period of time,” Judge Tari Eitzen said after about two hours of emotional testimony. She noted that “220 months is all the law allows me to impose, and I apologize for that because I don’t think it’s long enough.”

Uriah Brosnan pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder for the Jan. 28, 2009, beating death of the mother of his two children.

For nearly two weeks after the murder, Uriah Brosnan used Becky Brosnan’s cell phone and MySpace page to contact her family and friends, telling them she was fine but wanted time alone.

“She’s happy. She feels empowered. And then he does this to her,” said Spokane lawyer Gina Costello.

Costello was working with Becky Brosnan pro bono on her custody challenge.

Brosnan left Costello a voice mail asking if she should meet with Uriah Brosnan, as he’d asked. Costello never got a chance to call her back.

Brosnan was originally charged with first-degree murder, but Deputy Prosecutor John Love accepted the second-degree murder plea to avoid a trial. The plea was entered Dec. 23 in front of Eitzen.

Becky Brosnan’s aunt said she didn’t want to put the couple’s children through a trial.

The Brosnans were married for about 10 years before their divorce sparked the custody dispute that led to Becky Brosnan’s murder, according to court documents.

Detectives found her body Feb. 9 in a debris pile behind the roofing company.

Brosnan’s boss told police he’d stopped at the business the night of the murder but Uriah Brosnan hadn’t let him come inside.

Police found blood smears where Brosnan had dragged his wife’s body outside, according to court documents.


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