WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A man serving a life sentence for fatally stabbing his wife will be released on parole in 2021.
James Leo Tidwell, 68, was convicted by a New Hanover County jury in 1988 of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison for the crime.
The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission announced Friday that Tidwell will be paroled on April 4, 2021.
According to online court documents, Tidwell stabbed his wife, Mavies Tidwell, to death during an altercation at Gas World on College Road in Wilmington on September 27, 1987.
The morning of the deadly encounter, Tidwell told a co-worker that he had seen Mavies with another man and that he was going to kill her. Tidwell and his wife had been separated for approximately three months.
Tidwell asked the co-worker if they had a gun, and when she refused, he left the apartment saying that he would stab his wife and that “[w]herever he caught her, he was going to kill her.”
Two hours later, Mavies Tidwell, accompanied by her youngest child, drove up to Gas World and yelled at the clerk that she was being harassed by a man and that the police should be called. Minutes later, James Tidwell drove up behind Mavies and the two began arguing.
The confrontation escalated and James Tidwell went to his wife’s car and started attacking her with a knife before leaving the scene. Mavies Tidwell was found lying beside her car with no vital signs. A knife was located about two feet away.
James Tidwell then visited the pastor of First Wesleyan Church and admitted to killing his wife. The pastor testified that Tidwell’s clothing was covered in blood. Tidwell remained at the church until police arrived and arrested him.
Tidwell was convicted on Feb. 3, 1988.