Geauga County woman pleads guilty to husband's death

Geauga County woman pleads guilty to husband's death

CHARDON, OH (WOIO) - "Yes, sir," said 67-year-old Rita Greifenstein to Geauga County Judge David Furry, when he asked her if she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.  She admits she shot and killed her husband Peter, last October, in their Thompson home.  Prosecutors agreed to drop a firearms charge against Greifenstein in return for the guilty plea.

"It's bittersweet because this will not bring him back, but I'm glad for a little bit of justice for my father," said Mary Ann Cunningham, Peter Greifenstein's daughter from a previous marriage.

Peter Greifenstein was a 68-year-old father of four, a grandfather and great grandfather.  He'd worked as a machinist from the age of 16, according to his family.

"He was such a good man, very family oriented.  He would give you the shirt off his back," says Cunningham.

Rita and Peter had been together for over two decades.  Cunningham says in the months before her father's murder, she feared for her father's safety.

"She was just extremely unstable, and she was very jealous of our relationship together," added Cunningham.

Rita has claimed she was an abused wife who shot her husband in the chest after he hit her with a pan, but Peter Greifenstein's children say their dad was never abusive and that, at the time of the shooting, he was so frail, he was barely able to walk.

"He couldn't even walk. He was on a walker.  He would chair walk or furniture walk," says Cunningham, "I feel that she ambushed him and murdered him in cold blood."

Rita Greifenstein is scheduled to be sentenced on September 25th.  She remains free on a 15,000 dollar bond.

Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.