IOWA CITY, Iowa (TCD) -- A 70-year-old man recently pleaded guilty to stabbing his 65-year-old wife to death in 2019 after lying about their finances.
On April 5, 2019, at approximately 7 a.m., Roy Browning called Iowa City police and said his wife, JoEllen Browning, was unresponsive in their home, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. She had reportedly been stabbed in the front and back of her torso, as well as on her hand.
The victim’s death was ruled a homicide, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Roy Browning’s DNA was reportedly discovered on fingernail clippings from the victim.
On the day of JoEllen Browning’s fatal stabbing, she and her husband were scheduled to meet with a financial institution, KCCI-TV reports.
In April, JoEllen reportedly emailed her husband about bank account discrepancies, and she asked him to talk to someone from their bank. According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the banker they were going to meet with was going to tell the Brownings that money was withdrawn from a joint account, and Roy had taken out high-interest loans without JoEllen’s knowledge. JoEllen reportedly had a retirement and life insurance policy worth more than $2 million.
Roy initially pleaded not guilty in November 2019, but on Wednesday, Oct. 12, he entered a guilty plea to one charge of second-degree murder, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. Roy reportedly faces a maximum 50-year sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 2, and he remains held in the Johnson County Jail on $5 million bail, records show.
Prior to her death, JoEllen worked as an administrator with the University of Iowa health system, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.