Husband pleads guilty to stabbing wife


A Bloomington man pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife at their townhouse and is expected to be sentenced between 306-367 months in prison, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

John Lawler, 56, pleaded guilty Aug. 20 to one count of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his wife, 47-year-old Darla M. King. Lawler will be sentenced Oct. 4 and the prosecution and defense attorneys will argue over the length of sentence.

According to the complaint, just before 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, Lawler and his wife returned to their townhouse. She told her adult son, who was at the house, that Lawler had picked her up from work and they weren’t getting along.

Not long after that, she went into the basement of the townhouse and listened to music with a younger son until he went to sleep about 10 p.m. She continued to listen to music until about 11 p.m. when the adult son heard the music turn off and then shouting between his mother and Lawler, the complaint states.

The adult son went to the kitchen and found his mother covered in blood, lying on the floor with Lawler on top of her. The son called 911, but police and paramedics were unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at 11:19 p.m., according to the complaint.

Under questioning during his guilty plea, Lawler admitted that she did not do anything to him that would make it reasonable for him to stab her.

The autopsy found she had been stabbed four times on her left front, side and back. She also had defensive wounds to her hands.