MANKATO — Jennifer Nibbe was planning a tryst with a former boyfriend for days before she murdered her husband and attempted to make it look like the act of an intruder.
Texts Nibbe exchanged with her ex-boyfriend and a journal she started about a month before 26-year-old James Nibbe was found shot to death in their home south of Lake Crystal were included in court documents made public Tuesday.
The documents, including several previously unreleased investigator reports, were considered by District Court Judge Bradley Walker before he accepted a plea agreement that sent Jennifer Nibbe, 35, to prison until 2027.
The journal, which investigators believe was started by Jennifer Nibbe around Aug. 1, 2010, describes a marriage that was falling apart. She complains about a husband who isn’t contributing financially to the household, but has money for hunting and fishing trips. Another passage said he would make her feel bad for refusing to go camping with him, but wouldn’t agree to go to church with her.
Other entries talk about a former boyfriend and Jennifer Nibbe’s desire to meet with him for a sexual encounter.
“I miss him and fell in love with him so long ago that it hurts to bring these feelings back to the surface,” she wrote.
An entry dated Aug. 21, 10 days before she shot James Nibbe in the back of the head while he slept, revealed that she was planning a sexual encounter with the man. She had known the man most of her life and he was living in Lake Crystal with a girlfriend and their new baby. He would later tell investigators he was at home feeding the baby, something confirmed by his girlfriend, when James Nibbe was murdered.
The entry said the old boyfriend wanted Jennifer Nibbe to have sex.
“Can I control myself and say no,” Nibbe asked herself. “I don’t think so.”
When investigators searched Jennifer Nibbe’s cell phone, they found graphic photographs that Nibbe and the ex-boyfriend had sent to each other. There also were texts suggesting a sexual encounter that was set to take place on Sept. 2, 2010. Those texts were exchanged the afternoon of Aug. 30, 2010, according to cell phone records. James Nibbe was found dead the following morning.
Other court documents showed, if the case went to trial, Jennifer Nibbe’s defense attorneys were planning to call an expert witness who would testify about abuse and two of James Nibbe’s ex-girlfriends to testify about their relationship with him.
Jennifer Nibbe’s journal entries, which include several full pages of writing, never make any allegations that she was being sexually, physically or verbally abused by her husband.
A letter Nibbe sent to Walker, which was filed in April but kept confidential until Tuesday, asked the judge to lower her bail or allow her to leave the jail for a couple hours to attend the high school graduation of her son, Brady Brown.
“I understand the severity of my charges, I do,” Nibbe said in her hand-written letter. “But I’m still innocent until proven guilty and you may be laughing at all this but he’s my only child, he’ll be graduating with honors.”
The request was not granted.