Former Soldier Gets 17 Years For Killing Wife

BRIDGEVIEW (CBS) — A U.S. Army veteran who had recently returned from the war in Iraq when he killed his wife in their southwest suburban home has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

In a courtroom full of his relatives and in-laws, Joseph Jesk, 24, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday, according to his attorney. Judge John J. Hynes then sentenced him, attorney Michael Clancy said.

Jesk had been indicted on six counts of first-degree murder in the shooting of his wife, Heather, but the second-degree conviction means he’ll serve about six years in addition to the time he’s already spent in jail awaiting trial, Clancy said.

He and Heather argued in the basement of their home in the 4600 block of 101st Street in Oak Lawn on Feb. 27, 2010, after attending a fundraiser with other family members.

One of the guests followed the couple downstairs about 10:40 p.m. and saw Jesk holding a handgun, prosecutors said. That man ran upstairs fearing for his safety, prosecutors said.

Seconds later, Jesk fired at his wife’s forehead, leaving her in a pool of blood before running out a side door, prosecutors said. The couple’s daughters, then ages 11 months and 2 years, were not home during the shooting, officials said.

After the incident, Jesk called 911 telling police he’d “killed the only person he’d ever loved,” authorities said.

He was found with a folding knife near the Oak Lawn Metra station on 95th Street, police said.

Jesk had returned the month before from an 11-month tour of duty as a heavy artillery officer with the Army.

“Joe had had some problems coming back to normal life after being in Iraq and serving,” Clancy said. “It made for a pretty stressful home life and he and his wife were having some issues.”

Jesk, who Clancy said started dating Heather in junior high school, apologized to her family, their two daughters and the judge.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • NWA

    Blah, blah, blah… So he does his six year, gets out and does it again. What then?


    • Vicki

      Exactly, and he will try to claim he stuck the gun to someone elses face and fired, but it was an “accident” as well…6 yrs for a life….pathetic system we have

  • Lyndia

    I knew you would not post what I had to say, but that is ok.

  • Vicki

    This is so unjust!!!!! Why was he not sentenced longer??? For LIFE??? Blago will spend MORE time behind bars for harming NO ONE!!!!! Why did the states attorney’s agree to this?!?!? There is another man in the news today in chicago for killing a restaurant owner and he got 60 yrs!! Is this because his family had more money to dish out to the system? I was in the court room and it made me sick to my stomach to watch this punk kid walk out into the court like a gang banger with an attitude! I mean really, WHERE IS THE JUSTICE FOR THIS FAMILY??????????? Also, he NEVER spent a day in combatwhen in Iraq, so if they are using that as a reason, that is just an excuse and a cop out! Drunk drivers get more time in jail! He held a gun to his wifes face and fired it! Can’t get any more purpose or premeditation than that and this punk will STILL enjoy a FULL life while Heather will never be able to hug or kiss her kids again..will never watch them grow up and marry, will never see them off to their first day of school, will never seee them graduate…nothing…ever again…and what about her mother and father??? Heather was her only child. They had to bury so very young! Heather will never be able to feel the tight hug that i was gifted with by her older daughter on Wednesday and that is a sad awful shame. It was one of the biggest hugs i have ever recieved from a child besides my own and that right there is a crime in itself that Heather will never have that priveledge again….

  • Centurion

    So, this guy is sentenced and remanded into custody. Why isn’t BLAGO in custody. He has been sentenced.

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