Convicted Spokane killer Dibartolo back in county jail, preparing for release

A former Spokane Sheriff’s deputy convicted of killing his wife in the late 1990s is back in the Spokane County Jail, awaiting a hearing that will define his release from prison.

Thomas Dibartolo was moved from a work release facility in Yakima and booked into the jail just before 2:00 Monday. He’s scheduled to face a judge Tuesday afternoon for a hearing that will help define the conditions of his planned February release from prison.

Dibartolo was convicted of a crime that shocked Spokane in 1996. He shot his wife Patty in Spokane’s Lincoln Park, then shot himself and told police they were victims of a robbery. That set off a months-long manhunt that ultimately led to Dibartolo.

He was sentenced to 26 years in prison. He has spent most of his time in a prison in Rhode Island. He has appealed his case multiple times and always maintained that he didn’t kill his wife. At the time of the murder, the Dibartolos had several young children, several of whom testified they were scared of their father’s release.

Dibartolo will face a judge at 4:00 Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court.