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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated Patricia Wilkey had a son from another marriage. It has been corrected to show the victim had a son from another marriage, not Patricia. CORRECTION; The story was corrected to state that Thomas Richard Wilkey was once a reserve deputy under a previous sheriff. The previous version incorrectly stated that Patricia Wilkey was a reserve deputy and she was not.

The Rhea County, Tenn., woman charged in the death of her husband, who was found Monday shot dead and wrapped in plastic garbage bags, faces a preliminary hearing May 16.

Patricia Kaye Wilkey, 50, was charged Monday with criminal homicide in the apparent shooting death of 51-year-old Thomas Richard Wilkey Jr., whose body was found at the couple's home at 1241 Walkertown Road on Dayton Mountain around 11 a.m. that day.

some text Patricia Kaye Wilkey

When deputies arrived, they found Thomas Wilkey with "obvious trauma to the head" wrapped in garbage bags and tape, according to an affidavit filed in Rhea County Criminal Court. Wilkey told Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents she shot him twice in the head while he was in bed, then she wrapped him up in garbage bags, the affidavit states.

Afterward, Wilkey tossed the weapon into the Tennessee River at the Tennessee Highway 60 bridge and threw her husband's clothing off a bluff on Graysville Road in Bledsoe County. The clothing was recovered, the affidavit states.

Patricia Wilkey was the person who called 911 to report what was initially dispatched as a suicide, 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor said Tuesday morning. Taylor said he couldn't discuss other case details before the preliminary hearing next month.

Wilkey was charged with criminal homicide and remains jailed on a $350,000 bond.

The deceased man worked for a period as a reserve deputy under then- sheriff Leon Sneed, who held the office until 2010.

Taylor said he was unaware of whether there was a past history of violence, but he said the couple had married, divorced and remarried over the years.

"To my knowledge, they had no children," Taylor said, noting that the victim had a son from another marriage.

Meanwhile, Wilkey's body was sent to the University of Tennessee Forensics Center in Knoxville for an autopsy, Taylor said. The initial report from the forensic medical examination could take several days, he said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

This story was updated April 25 at 10:55 p.m. with more information. This story was updated June 18, 2019, at 11:05 a.m. with corrected information.

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