Laura Bluestein bought shovels and tarp at Lowe's after shooting her wife in the face

By Harriet Sokmensuer
August 21, 2020 02:14 PM
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A New Jersey woman who shot her new wife in the face and dug her grave in their backyard learned her fate.

On Wednesday, Laura Bluestein was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the August 2017 death of 29-year-old Felicia Dormans, Burlington County Scott Prosecutor Coffina announced in a news release. 

“Today, after three years of legal maneuvering to evade responsibility for the senseless killing of the woman she claimed to be ‘the love of her life,’ Laura Bluestein must finally face the consequences of her malicious and evasive actions,” Coffina said in a statement. "Our hearts are with Felicia’s family and friends as they continue to struggle with this incomprehensible loss. The shooting of Felicia by Bluestein reflects the ultimate act of domestic violence, one that we pray is not visited upon any other victims.”

Bluestein was convicted in February of first-degree aggravated manslaughter and tampering with evidence after a jury acquitted her of first-degree murder and a weapons offense. She had admitted to shooting her wife of one year but claimed in court it was “truly an accident," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“Felicia was and still is the love of my life," Bluestein said.

Burlington County Prosecutor

However, persecutors say the 31-year-old aimed a 9mm handgun at her wife's face during an argument and shot her. She then went to a Lowe's, bought two shovels and blue tarps and returned to the couple's Mount Holly home, where she dug a grave in the backyard in an attempt to cover the crime.

Dormans' body was discovered in a bedroom by police after they responded to a welfare check request made by Bluestein's father. He told police an incident had occurred inside the home.

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During the hearing Wednesday, which was live-streamed, Dormans' parents addressed the court.

“Every day, [we] wake up to a huge hole in our hearts,” Joe Dormans said. “My little girl, I love and miss you every day with my heart. And I love you so much.”

While giving his sentence, Superior Court Judge Terrence Cook said, “This is a terrible situation: Two families forever affected by the reckless conduct of this defendant...No court can give the Dormans what they really want."

Bluestein's attorney, who could not be reached for comment Friday, called Dormans' death a “horrific tragedy" and told the Inquirer Bluestein plans to appeal. Bluestein must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.