GRAFTON, W.Va. — A Taylor County man will spend the rest of his life in prison after killing his wife.


John Michael Hess

The 12-member jury that found John Michael Hess, 47, of Flemington, guilty of murder Tuesday decided during deliberations Wednesday that he should receive no mercy.

“Wednesday morning we had the penalty phase of the trial and they returned a no mercy verdict,” Taylor County Prosecutor John Bord said.

Hess killed his wife, Abigail Hess, 38, on New Year’s Eve 2017.

“The defendant shot his wife in the face with a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot,” Bord said.

Testimony during the trial said Hess committed the crime in a jealous rage.

The defense claimed Hess had a diminished capacity and shouldn’t be charged with first degree murder.

Hess was sentenced by Taylor County Circuit Judge Alan Moats.