Akron — Nearly 18 months after an early morning argument resulted in the violent stabbing death of Abrams Drive woman Tami Mitchell Wong, her husband, Glenn Wong, was sentenced July 21 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for her murder by Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Paul Gallagher.
Wong, 52, was found guilty by a Summit County jury March 28 of two counts of aggravated murder, one count of murder, one count of felonious assault, one count of kidnapping and one count of domestic violence in connection to the Feb. 24, 2013, killing of Mrs. Mitchell Wong, 46. She suffered more than 100 stab wounds, and authorities say she was killed in front of her two children.
Gallagher merged the six charges into a single count of aggravated murder at the sentencing.
Wong will be sent to Lorain Correctional Institution to be evaluated. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections will then decide on an appropriate institution for him to serve his sentence.
As Wong rose to address the court for the first time — he did not take the stand in his own defense — he claimed that his wife, for months before her death, had been inciting arguments with him and recording them.
He told the court he suspected she was planning to file for divorce and intended to use the taped arguments to discredit Wong in custody hearings.
“There were some thoughts that overcame me,” Wong said. “She was painting a bad picture of me, deliberately antagonizing me. She was provoking me to commit this bad act.”
Wong went on to publicly apologize for his crimes.
“I would like to apologize to the state of Ohio,” Wong said. “I would like to apologize to my father-in-law, Bill Mitchell. I really regret what I’ve done. I am very sorry I’ve become such a disappointment to [my parents]. My biggest apology is going to go to my young daughter and my young son. I selfishly took the life of their mother from them. I deeply regret what I’ve done to them. I wish them the best and I just want them to know I love them very much.”
The Wong children, a daughter, 11, who called 911 as the stabbing was occurring, and a son, 9, who also was home at the time, remain in the custody of family members in Oklahoma.
Dawn Harrison-Drasner, a Twinsburg resident and close friend of Mrs. Mitchell Wong, pleaded with Gallagher to assign the maximum sentence, calling Wong’s offense “monstrously violent” and “unfathomable.”
“Respectfully, anything less than life without parole would be an insult to my friend Tami,” Harrison-Drasner said. “This man made his children orphans the moment he pulled those knives from the block.”
Michelle McAllister, another friend of Mrs. Mitchell Wong, said “justice was done March 28.”
“He knows what he did and as a human being, I want to see the maximum penalty and then some given to him,” McAllister said.
“You will not steal another moment of our lives,” she added, addressing Wong directly. “You are not worth the spit on the dirt.”
During a mitigation hearing prior to the sentencing, defense attorney Brian Pierce appealed for parole eligibility after 20 years, arguing that Wong continues to suffer from delusional disorders and paranoia, as evidenced by psychological examinations performed on Wong before the trial by Dr. John Fabian, a Cleveland-based clinical psychologist.
“It’s clear to me he suffers from a mental disease,” Fabian said July 21, adding that the defendant “lacked a clear motive based in reality” at the time of the offense.
Two other psychologists ruled that Wong was competent to stand trial (Wong had attempted to change his plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity in October 2013) — and that he understood the wrongness of his actions at the time of the crime.
Pierce also cited Wong’s lack of any criminal record.
“This is a complete tragedy,” Pierce said. “This is a case that leaves me scratching my head. [Wong is] convinced today that [Tami] was having some sort of affair.”
Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Thomas Kroll argued against mitigation, pointing to the calculated, targeted nature of several of the 103 knife wounds Wong inflicted on his wife of 11 years.
“The only thing that works in the defendant’s favor is his lack of criminal record,” Kroll said. “This was not an offense that required significant strength or youth to perpetrate.”
“The murder of Tami Wong shocked the community with its brutality,” said Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh. “It is, sadly, an example of the tragic end to the cycle of violence in the worst domestic violence cases. Now that Glenn is heading to prison for the remainder of his life, I hope his young children and the many friends and family Tami left behind can begin the healing process.”
Facebook: Conner Howard, Record Publishing Reporter