A woman who helped her husband take his life and then slit her own wrists in November 2019 was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday.
Shawn DeLynn Olson, 39, pleaded guilty to a murder charge Thursday in the death of her 38-year-old husband, James D. Olson Jr., at their apartment in the 1800 block of Majestic Drive in Hewitt.
Judge Susan Kelly of Waco’s 54th State District Court sentenced Olson to 30 years in prison after accepting Olson’s plea agreement with the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office.
Olson pleaded guilty to slitting her husband’s wrists with a straight razor after he had attempted to kill himself in the same manner but was unable to complete the suicide, officials said. Olson then slit her own wrists but was able to be revived after officials broke into their apartment looking for her husband, who missed a court date in 54th State District Court.
James Olson was free on bond after being charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was scheduled to be in court that morning for a bond hearing. When he failed to appear in court, authorities tracked him to their apartment through his court-ordered ankle monitor and found a note on the door that said to contact police.
James Olson was dead when officers arrived and Shawn Olson was in critical condition after slitting her own wrists following her efforts to assist her husband’s suicide, officials said.
“A tragic series of circumstances placed Ms. Olson in the situation that ultimately lead to this case and this courtroom today,” said Olson’s attorney, Jonathan Sibley. “Thankfully, Ms. Olson survived and will still be around for her family. She hopes today’s hearing will begin the process of healing within her family and allow them to move beyond this moment.”
Olson must earn credit for serving 15 years in prison before she can seek parole.
Olson’s plea hearing was conducted via teleconference, with James Olson’s parents and his alleged sexual assault victim watching remotely. They did not speak during Thursday’s hearing.
Written by: Tommy Witherspoon for KWTX Waco, Texas
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