A Morrison County judge on Thursday sentenced a 31-year-old Little Falls man to 15 years in prison for the strangling death of his wife.
Jonathan S. Greyblood was charged with two felony counts of second-degree murder in February after the body of 37-year-old Jeanine Greyblood was found on the ice under a bridge south of Little Falls.
In October, a jury acquitted Jonathan Greyblood of intentional second-degree murder but found him guilty of one count of unintentional second-degree murder. The jury also decided against applying aggravating factors to the case to increase the sentence.
According to court documents, Greyblood notified police his wife was missing on Feb. 6. He said the previous night, they argued and she got out of their car and said she was going to another friend’s house.
That prompted law enforcement and volunteers to spend the day conducting an extensive and fruitless search of the west side of Little Falls.
During an interview with law enforcement on Feb. 7, Greyblood admitted “something bad happened” and said when his wife started hitting him, he “tried defending himself by putting his hands around Jeanine’s throat, and he squeezed her throat until she went limp,” documents state.
Greyblood told police he panicked and drove south of town and dropped her body on the iced-over Swan River.
Greyblood’s attorney, Susan Gaertner, asked for a sentence of just over six years, a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines. Gaertner argued Jeanine Greyblood was the aggressor during the incident and her history of abusive behavior mitigates Jonathan’s Greyblood’s conduct that led to hear death.
In court filings, Gaertner said testimony showed Jeanine Greyblood was an aggressive person who frequently initiated confrontation. She cites the testimony of a principal, who called Jeanine Greyblood “emotionally volatile, intimidating, aggressive, and disrespectful” and testimony about how Jeanine Greyblood would “grab [her] children’s shoulders and shake them back and forth” or bump them against the wall when she was angry, documents state.
Based on Jonathan Greyblood’s conviction and no previous criminal history, the presumptive sentence was 10 years but could be up to 15 years, according to court documents. The judge also ordered Greyblood to pay restitution.