Blaine man sentenced for murdering wife who planned to leave him

A judge sentenced a Blaine, Minnesota man to 40 years in prison for murdering his wife, who was in the process of leaving him in 2019, according to the Anoka County Attorney's Office.

Matthew Jansen pleaded guilty in March to second-degree intentional murder as part of a plea deal. The judge agreed to a longer sentence Thursday, believing the facts supported his lack of remorse.

According to the criminal complaint, 46-year-old Mary Jo Jansen served divorce papers to Matthew around Thanksgiving 2018. She eventually made plans to permanently move out on February 9, 2019, but she was murdered the night before.

At the scene, Jansen told officers "I can't believe I did it" and "I guess I don't have to worry about a divorce now," the charges state. Family members told police guns had been removed from the home months before the shooting. In Matthew's truck, officers found a February receipt for a gun purchase.

Friends described Mary Jo as a loving mom and dental assistant, who knew the lyrics to just about every ‘80s song.

"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," said Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo in a statement. "The emotional impact was made worse here because the victim had attended her mother’s funeral just that morning."

A 2019 report completed by Violence Free Minnesota found "attempts to separate from an abuser can increase the risk of lethality for victims." The Anoka County Attorney's Office is encouraging those who may be facing domestic abuse to connect with local resources.