Alan Smith was charged Friday with first-degree murder in the February death of 37-year-old Susann Smith in her home in the north Seattle suburb of Bothell. He was previously charged in a lower court.
The Daily Herald of Everett reports that prosecutors say Susann Smith was sleeping when she was attacked. After she was beaten and stabbed, prosecutors say the killer filled the bathtub and held her under water.
Court documents say an autopsy documented more than 22 head injuries, including a fatal skull fracture.
Prosecutors say the couple were involved in a bitter custody battle. Their two young children are in protective custody.
Arrested in June, Smith is being held on $1 million bail.
He has no criminal history and is expected to be arraigned Monday.