ROCKVILLE, Md. — A Potomac doctor convicted a decade ago of beating his wife to death with a rubber mallet is seeking to be released as early as this year.

Lawyers for Zakaria Oweiss say the obstetrician has been a model inmate. Court filings say the 68-year-old writes medical columns for a prison newsletter and facilitates antiviolence discussion groups. A court hearing on the request is scheduled Thursday.

Oweiss was convicted for the August 2001 murder of his real estate agent wife in their Potomac home.

Prosecutors said one of their sons heard his mother screaming and found his father with a hammer, telling him not to call police until he got rid of the murder weapon. The doctor was sentenced to the maximum 30 years following conviction for second-degree murder.

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