CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Nicholas County man will remain in prison after Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman accepted a plea agreement in connection with his missing wife’s death.
Arthur ‘Owen’ Woods, 42, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter last week before being sentenced Thursday via video by Kaufman to three years in prison.
Woods was initially charged with first-degree murder in the death of Starina Woods, 34, in May 2019 and pleaded not guilty. Starina Woods went missing in March 2016, shortly after the couple moved to Charleston, and her body has never been found.
During his plea hearing on November 24, Woods took a Kennedy plea in the case. That meant Woods did not admit guilt but contends the state has enough evidence to convict him if the case went to trial. The Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office and Woods’ defense team reached the binding plea agreement.
Woods did not make a statement on Thursday.
According to investigators, Woods never reported his wife missing, telling authorities she had left for Ecuador. In October 2016, authorities were investigating her disappearance as a homicide.
MetroNews previously reported on the case where investigators said that Starina Woods voiced concerns about being in an abusive relationship. Authorities discovered bloodstains at the couple’s home on Lance Drive in Charleston during the investigation.
In 2018, Woods was charged for using his spouse’s debit card until the bank froze the account.
Woods has been incarcerated in the South Central Regional Jail for more than a year since his initial arrest. He will receive credit for time served.