Skylar Nemetz, a former Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who fatally shot his wife, will plead his case on national television Saturday.
“I can live with I am the reason Danielle died,” he told the program “48 Hours.” “But I can’t live with being called a murderer.”
A Pierce County jury convicted Nemetz, 21, of first-degree manslaughter in March and he was sentenced to 13 1/2 years in prison.
Jurors rejected arguments from prosecutors that Nemetz was guilty of first-degree murder.
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Danielle Nemetz died Oct. 16, 2014, in the couple’s Lakewood apartment.
The defense argued Nemetz was trying to clear an AR-15 rifle he’d bought his 19-year-old wife for her birthday months earlier when it accidentally discharged, striking her in the back of the head as she sat at a computer.
Prosecutors alleged Nemetz killed his wife because he was angry after learning another man bought her alcohol while he was deployed for three weeks of training.
“He is seeing this as an accident. His family sees this as an accident,” deputy prosecutor Greg Greer told “48 Hours” host Erin Moriarty. “We believe he murdered his wife.”
The episode, dubbed “The Soldier’s Wife,” includes interviews with Skylar Nemetz’s mom, Danette Heller; prosecutors; friends and family members of Danielle Nemetz; detectives; and jurors. It will air at 7 p.m. Saturday on CBS.
This is not the first time the case will appear on a television show. In February, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist went on “The Nancy Grace Show” to talk about the trial as it was unfolding.
His appearance prompted Nemetz’s attorney to request a mistrial, accusing Lindquist of violating professional rules of conduct and jeopardizing Nemetz’s right to a fair trial.
The judge declined to declare a mistrial because there was no evidence jurors or the trial were influenced by Lindquist’s comments.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653