Vancouver man pleads guilty to fatally shooting wife

He killed her over monetary dispute tied to pending divorce

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A 73-year-old Vancouver man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court to shooting and killing his wife of more than 20 years on Nov. 12 over a monetary dispute related to their pending divorce.

Victor W. Frye, a retired U.S. Postal Service employee, will be sentenced at 10 a.m. Feb. 1 by Judge Daniel Stahnke.

Frye, represented by court-appointed defense attorney Gerald Wear, agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced charge and faces fewer years in prison as a result. Frye was initially charged with first-degree murder; he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

He faces a sentence of 183 to 280 months, according to state sentencing guidelines, said Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino. The deputy prosecutor said he would recommend the maximum sentence.

Frye shot his 67-year-old wife, Nita, twice Nov. 12 after learning her plans for the couple's money following their divorce, according to court documents. He was arrested the next day.

Police responded Nov. 12 to the Frye home in a gated community at 3414 N.E. 83rd Ave. and found Nita Frye lying in the bathroom covered with a blanket.

In an interview with investigators, Victor Frye admitted to killing her, according to court documents.

He told detectives he found his wife's handwritten notes about her plans for the couple's money after their divorce. Enraged, he said he waited for his wife to arrive home later that day and then confronted her with a handgun, according to court documents. During an ensuing struggle, Frye said he pushed her to the bathroom floor and "snapped," allegedly shooting her in the upper torso with a 9 mm handgun.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts;http://facebook.com/ColTrends;paris.achen@columbian.com.