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Man 'savagely beats wife to death after she had a stroke and became a burden'


A husband has allegedly told police he brutally struck his wife with a wrench and then strangled her to death, because she had become a "burden" to him after she suffered a stroke.

According to a probable cause statement, Johnathan Conaway, 45, reported Janice - his wife of 14 years - dead on Monday, in a phone call to Phoenix police.

In a "spontaneous statement" to one of the first officers to arrive at the couple's home, Conaway allegedly declared "I killed my wife, she's inside".

Upon entering the residence, police found the 43-year-old victim and mother-of-two lying on a sofa “with obvious trauma to her head, a wrench on the floor and a belt lying on the floor,” the document reveals.

Police say Conaway told them he used the belt to strangle his wife, after striking her on the head with the wrench.

To ensure she was dead, he then shone a light in her eyes before calling the police, the document details.

Summarizing his statement, the probable cause document says: "Jonathan and Janice have been having problems since they were married 14 years ago.

The problems became worse after Janice had a stroke and Jonathan had to take care of her.”

The court report also says he viewed his wife as a burden.

"Janice’s medical needs also led to financial problems.

"The money problems became worse when Jonathan lost his job two weeks ago.

"The family was in debt and Jonathan felt like a failure and viewed Janice as a burden.”

The form revealed Conaway had been "thinking about killing his wife as a possible solution to his problems," after losing his job.

He allegedly decided to action his plan of murder on Monday, knowing his wife would be home from work and their two children would be at school.

“Jonathan killed Janice so their boys did not have to take care of her and require them using a substantial amount of money,” the probable cause statement alleges.

Paradise Valley Unified School District confirmed that Janice Conaway worked as a campus assistant within the district.

They said: “PVSchools is deeply saddened to learn that Janice Conaway, a beloved campus assistant, has passed away. Naturally, this loss within our community impacts our families, students, and staff. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Conaway faces a first-degree murder charge in the case and was being held in custody on a 100 million bond.


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