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A 3rd District judge refused to suppress the confession of a West Valley man who admitted to detectives that he beat his wife to death with a pipe wrench.

Gary Lee Mabe, 39, is charged with second-degree murder for the Dec. 5 slaying of his wife, Carol Mabe, 45. A co-worker discovered her severely beaten body lying on the floor of her cubicle at Timesaver Industrial, 1515 S. Pioneer Road (2350 West) early that morning.Investigators said it was one of the worst beatings they had ever seen.

Mabe told detectives he had dropped his wife off at work that morning but denied knowing anything about her death. But on Jan. 7, he called Salt Lake police detectives and offered "to clear up the case."

Detectives picked him up and took him to the police station, where he waived his Miranda rights and confessed to the slaying. He admitted he killed his wife by striking her in the head with a metal bar and a pipe wrench, court documents state.

Judge Kenneth Rigtrup said all indications are that Mabe, who has an IQ of 127, knew what he was doing when he spoke with detectives and was in a sound state of mind. His attempts to commit suicide the weekend before the confession were consistent with remorse for the killing, said the judge in denying the motion to suppress Mabe's statements. And Mabe was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he spoke with detectives.

A disposition hearing was scheduled for June 24, indicating that a plea bargain may be in the works.

Detectives say that although Mabe has confessed to the slaying, he has never told them why he did it.