An elderly Florida man was in jail after he said he fatally shot his ailing wife because her medications were no longer affordable and she was in pain. William Howe, 86, was being held without bond after telling authorities that he had shot his wife in the head as she slept that morning in their home according to an affidavit. Mr. Howe called the 911 emergency line several hours after the fatal shooting. Howe told authorities that after the shooting he went to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and called his daughters to tell them what he had done.
“I want to apologize I didn’t call earlier. I wanted to tell my kids what happened first,” Howe told authorities. Howe told authorities that he had been thinking of killing his wife, 84, for several days because she was in pain, the affidavit said. Howe said she had told him that she wanted to die in the past, and she had asked him to kill her, according to the affidavit.
A dispatcher at the County Sheriff’s Office said Howe remained in jail on a charge of first-degree, premeditated murder after an initial court appearance.
A local broadcaster reported that the couple had filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and that Carolyn Howe had been suffering from severe arthritis and other medical issues for at least 15 years. The AARP, a non-profit advocacy organization for people 50 years and older, said in a report last November that increasing costs for certain specialty prescription drugs have put them out of reach for many people and that Medicare does not necessarily make those drugs affordable. Authorities did not say what specific drugs Mrs. Howe was taking nor what kind of insurance the couple may have had. A search of records at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not show a prior criminal history for Mr. Howe.
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