A 69-year-old Pottstown man has been arrested and charged with murder in the strangulation of his wife, authorities said Monday.
Michael Hatfield was charged with first-degree murder and related offenses in the death of Mary Hatfield, 71, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said.
About 11 a.m. Friday, Pottstown police went to the Hatfields’ apartment on the 300 block of North Hanover Street after Michael Hatfield called 911 and told a dispatcher he had argued with his wife two days earlier and had “hurt” her, according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest. Police found Mary Hatfield dead in the living room.
“I strangled her,” the husband told police at the scene, the affidavit says.
He told detectives later that day that after he and his wife argued Wednesday night, he took an orange extension cord from a closet and walked behind her as she sat in her recliner, wrapped the cord around her neck, and pulled until she stopped moving, the affidavit says.
An orange extension cord and a bloody towel were recovered from a trash can in the apartment, and an autopsy conducted Saturday confirmed the cause of death to be strangulation and the manner to be homicide, authorities said.
The husband was arraigned on charges of murder and possession of an instrument of crime and was denied bail. He is in custody at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. It could not be immediately determined whether he had an attorney.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele called the alleged strangulation “a horrible case of the worst end result of domestic violence.”
“People living in domestic violence need to know there is help available, even in these unprecedented times,” Steele said in a statement, suggesting Laurel House and the Women’s Center of Montgomery County as resources.