Authorities said Mary Jo Jansen had served her husband divorce papers about three months before her murder

By Christine Pelisek
December 14, 2020 01:56 PM
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Mary Jo Jansen
| Credit: GoFundMe

A Minnesota man was sentenced last week to 40 years in prison for killing his wife after she served him divorce papers.

Matthew Lynn Jansen pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder in the Feb. 8, 2019, shooting death of his 46-year-old wife, Mary Jo Jansen.

Mary Jo had just attended her own mother’s funeral the morning she was fatally shot.

Authorities said Mary Jo had served Jansen, 46, divorce papers around Thanksgiving 2018.

According to the Anoka County Attorney’s office, Jansen called police in the late evening of February 8 to report that he had killed his wife at their Blaine home and the gun he used, a Smith & Wesson .44 handgun, was unloaded and in the foyer.

Police later found Mary Jo dead on the floor of an upstairs bedroom. She had been shot in the neck and chest.

Matthew Lynn Jansen
| Credit: Anoka County Sheriff's Office

“Investigators determined that the gunshot wound to the neck likely occurred first, creating the blood spray and causing Ms. Jansen to fall to the ground; the gunshot to the chest was then likely fired as she was lying on the floor,” a criminal complaint, which was obtained by PEOPLE, reads.

Hansen allegedly told officers, “I can’t believe I did it,” and “I guess I don’t have to worry about a divorce now,” the complaint states.

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Family members alleged the former couple had been staying together at the house while the divorce was pending and that Mary Jo had plans to permanently move out of the house the following day.

“Investigators further learned that Defendant previously made statements to Ms. Jansen to the effect of ‘you are not leaving this house’ and ‘I will not let you leave,’” the complaint states.

“It is particularly cruel for children to lose their mother, and a family to lose their loved one, at the hands of someone who is supposed to emotionally support a family, not violently tear it apart,” Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said in a statement.

Jansen's attorney could not be reached for comment.