Musician strangled his pianist wife to death

Natalia Strelchenko, 38, was a concert pianist

A jury box in a courtroom (2015, AP)
A jury box in a courtroom (2015, AP)

LONDON (AP) – A classical musician has been convicted of beating and strangling to death his wife, the successful concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko.

A jury on Friday found bassist John Martin guilty of murdering 38-year-old Strelchenko, who was attacked at the couple’s home in Manchester, northwest England, on their second wedding anniversary in August.

A witness who was staying with the couple said she saw Martin push Strelchenko down the stairs, repeatedly punch her and say “I want to kill her.”

Martin claimed he had no recollection of the killing after taking a mix of alcohol and diazepam, which he’d mistaken for his anti-depressant medication.

Russia-born Strelchenko studied at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and had performed at venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall.

Martin will be sentenced Monday.

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