Mitchell man sentenced for first-degree manslaughter

MITCHELL, S.D. - A Mitchell man who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in his wife’s death in 2017 has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

The sentence, handed down Tuesday, for 41-year-old James Brinker was part of a plea agreement.

Brinker killed his 37-year-old wife, Marie Brinker, by wrapping her in a blanket, placing her on a mattress, and tying a belt around her head to hold in place a sock that he had put in her mouth. A doctor later found that her death was caused by asphyxia due to suffocation.

Brinker was given credit for just over two years served in the Davison County Jail. He was also sentenced to four years in prison on a possession of a controlled substance charge that is to run concurrently with the manslaughter charge.