Euless woman pleads guilty to killing her husband

FORT WORTH -- A Euless woman accused of fatally shooting her husband and then surrendering to Euless police when she couldn't push his body into a freezer last year pleaded guilty to murder Wednesday in the middle of her trial.

Patricia Jeffress, 51, entered her plea before state District Judge Ruben Gonzalez Jr. in Criminal District Court No. 432.

Her plea was entered as prosecutors were calling witnesses Wednesday afternoon before a jury of seven men and five women. Testimony in her murder trial began Tuesday morning.

The punishment phase of her trial continues today.

The maximum sentence is life in prison.

Jeffress shot her husband, Joe Jeffress, 59, in the back of the head in May 2009 as he slept in their apartment at the Oakmont of Bear Creek Apartments, 2121 Bear Creek Parkway in Euless.

She told Euless police that she had shot him May 12, but she didn't report the killing until May 15.

Between the time she shot her husband and her surrender, Jeffress bought a freezer and drove to Forney to drop off her dog so relatives could take care of it, according to testimony from Euless police.

Jeffress had told police that she had been abused by her husband in the past, she was bipolar, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was taking roughly 10 medications.

The Jeffresses had been married six years, and Euless police had no previous reports of disturbances at their apartment.

Joe Jeffress, who was retired from the military, had several weapons in the apartment. Patricia Jeffress told Euless police that she used a .357-caliber Magnum revolver and then placed it on a nightstand.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763