Roy Edward Scott was sentenced in Great Falls on Friday to 15 years, with 10 of the years suspended, to the Montana State Prison for the death of his wife Stephanie Wells.
Scott was found guilty of negligent homicide in November 2017 for her death.
He claimed that he restrained his wife Stephanie Wells for several minutes during an argument. Autopsy reports revealed that Wells died from blunt force trauma and compression of the neck.
During the sentencing, Wells' daughter made a statement and said she regrets not telling her mom she loved her the night of her death.
The defense brought in several testified on behalf of Scott's character.
Prosecutors asked for Scott to be sentenced to 20 years, and the defense asked for Scott’s sentence be suspended.
Judge Elizabeth Best said, "I have considered all of the facts in this case. I do view this as a tragic for you and for your family. For everyone who loves you, many who are in this room right now. I have listened to the evidence and I believe that you love and loved Stephanie.”
Best said she believes the sentence is a fair assessment of accountability that is required in Scott’s case.
Scott will also have to pay $3,454.96 in restitution to the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.
Court documents state that a Great Falls police officer was dispatched to a home on the 400 block of 51st Street South at 3:25 a.m. on March 26th, 2016, for a report of a woman who was not breathing.
When the officer arrived, medical personnel were performing CPR on Stephanie, but Great Falls Fire Rescue personnel pronounced her dead at the scene.
When questioned by police, Scott said that he and his wife - Stephanie - had gone to the North 40 Bar for drinks earlier that night. Scott said that when he and Wells arrived home, he took their truck keys from her because she was an alcoholic and would "often try to leave the house and drive intoxicated."
Court documents state that Scott and Wells then began arguing, and it became physical, and she began to hit him.
The court document states:
"Roy said they fell off of the bed in a physical struggle. Once on the floor, Roy stated that he physically restrained her. He stated that they were both lying on the floor and he put his arms around her in an attempt to control her arms. He demonstrated this as holding her in a bear hug fashion. Roy said he used his legs to pin her legs down to stop her from kicking."
Scott told police that he believes he held her for 10-15 minutes in this fashion, until she "stopped kicking and whining."
At that point, according to the charging documents, he noticed that her face appeared blue and she was not breathing. He then yelled for his teen son to help him, and his son called 911. Scott told police that he and his son performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived.