Patricia Kaye Wilkey

A Rhea County woman charged in the 2017 shooting death of her husband was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

Patrica Wilkey, 52, was found guilty of murdering her husband Thomas Wilkey at the couple’s home in Dayton.

At the request of 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor, TBI special agents began investigating the death of Thomas Wilkey, 51, shortly after deputies with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department found Wilkey’s body in his home in the 12000 block of Walkertown Road in Dayton.

During the course of the investigation, agents, working alongside investigators from the sheriff’s department, developed information leading to Wilkey’s wife, Patricia Kaye Wilkey, as the individual allegedly responsible for the crime.

According to an affidavit filed in Rhea County Criminal Court, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the home after receiving reports of a shooting. The affidavit states that deputies said the victim had suffered head trauma and was wrapped in plastic garbage bags and tape.

According to investigators and the affidavit, Patricia Wilkey admitted to shooting her husband twice in the head while he was lying in bed. The affidavit states she then wrapped him in plastic and shot him again.

Court records state she then threw the gun off of the Highway 60 bridge into the river. The affidavit also states she took his bed clothes and threw them off of a bluff on Graysville Road in Bledsoe County, which deputies later recovered.