Notorious Spokane killer Thomas DiBartolo back in court Wednesday

One of Spokane’s most notorious killers will be back in court on Wednesday for a hearing that will indicate his release conditions.

Thomas Dibartolo’s hearing was originally set for Tuesday. He appeared, but the court delayed the hearing so his newly-appointed public defender could have more time to review the statutes from 1996 before moving ahead.

Dibartolo, a former Sheriff’s Office deputy, was convicted of shooting his wife Patty in the head and shooting himself to cover up the crime back in 1996.

He killed his wife by shooting her in Spokane’s Lincoln Park. DiBartolo told investigators they were ambushed and robbed by two black men. He drove his wife to the hospital, but she had died by the time they arrived.

In 1996, 4 News Now reported DiBartolo allegedly killed his wife to get a $100,000 insurance policy, because that would be cheaper than a divorce.

Before a judge sentenced DiBartolo to decades in prison, his sister pleaded for less time.

“I cannot convince you that he’s not guilty, but at least give him a sentence that will allow him the time to deal with the problems that he needs to deal with, because I believe that he does have some problems,” said DiBartolo’s sister at his sentence hearing in 1998.

Patty’s father was also in court that day.

“He doesn’t have the guts to tell his kids he’s sorry for what he’s done,” said said Patty’s father.

As was DiBartolo’s son, who was convinced his father killed his mother.

“I don’t understand how anybody could cause so much pain. That pain just doesn’t go away,” said Nick DiBartolo at his father’s sentencing hearing in 1998.

Despite all of this and his conviction, DiBartolo has always maintained his innocence.

“I did not kill Patty,” DiBartolo said at this sentence hearing in 1998. “If these shoulders are strong enough to bear the weight of your hatred, then I’ll do that.”

The judge didn’t buy his speech at the hearing and sentenced him to 26 years behind bars.

After more than two decades in prison, February marks DiBartolo’s release date.

He has been serving time in a Rhode Island prison and, over the years, has appealed his case several times.

“Tom DiBartolo is a murderer and nothing less,” said Spokane Co. Judge Neal Rielly, at DiBartolo’s sentence hearing in 1998.

DiBartolo is scheduled to be back in court at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

READ: Work release suspended for convicted killer, former Spokane county deputy Tom Dibartolo

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