A New Hampshire man who returned home last year to find his 4-year-old son strangled by the boy's mother and a 7-year-old daughter unconscious has pleaded guilty to killing his wife as she tried to commit suicide.
The description in court was the first time authorities revealed what caused the November death of Mason Smeltzer and the injuries to his sister, Mercey Smeltzer.
The revelations came as the children's father, 38-year-old Christopher Smeltzer pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the beating death of his wife, Mara Pappalardo.
New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young says Pappalardo had been hospitalized for paranoia.
Smeltzer told police he "lost his marbles" and attacked Pappalardo with a flashlight. She had a rope around her neck, preparing to commit suicide.