Staff photo/ Hayley Day
                                Eric A. Kulp and his attorney in San Juan County Superior Court on Aug. 3.

Staff photo/ Hayley Day Eric A. Kulp and his attorney in San Juan County Superior Court on Aug. 3.

Eric Kulp changes plea to guilty in wife’s murder case

The Shaw Island man charged with the murder of his wife changed his plea to guilty on Friday, Aug. 3.

Originally, Eric A. Kulp, 44, pleaded not guilty to unlawful imprisonment and murder in the second degree for the death of his wife Abigail Finney, 38. As part of the plea agreement, the state dropped the unlawful imprisonment charge.

At the Aug. 3 hearing, San Juan Superior Court Judge Katie Loring said Kulp provided “factual basis for the plea” in his written statement to the court.

Kulp is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m., Monday, Sept. 17. Murder in the second degree is a class A felony in Washington, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

On April 5, Finney’s body was found concealed in a minivan at the Shaw Island home that she shared with her husband, Kulp, whose whereabouts were unknown at the time.

Kulp was detained by police officers after a brief standoff in the Marblemount area of Skagit County on April 13. He suffered serious self-inflicted knife wounds to his neck and abdomen during the apprehension. Kulp was released from Harborview Medical Center on May 16 and made his first court appearance on May 18. Kulp formerly had the last name of Tubbs. He has no previous criminal history, according to court documents.

Publisher Colleen Smith contributed to this article.