3 Days After Botched Mercy Killing, Wife Dies

Husband on suicide watch faces murder charge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2014 3:22 AM CST
This photo provided by the Carson City Sheriff 's Department shows William Dresser.    (AP Photo/Carson City Sheriff Department)

(Newser) – An 88-year-old man who shot his wife in a Nevada hospital in what he says was an attempted mercy killing is now facing a murder charge. Frances Dresser, 86, was pronounced dead three days after her husband of 63 years shot her in the chest, reports NBC. William Dresser, who told police he had planned to shoot himself as well, but whose gun jammed, remains on suicide watch in prison.

Dresser told police his wife had become paralyzed after a fall and he wanted to take her out of her suffering. Carson City's district attorney says mitigation is possible, but the case is still being investigated. "From our perspective of Nevada law it's clear, there is no real mercy killing law that excuses this," he tells the Reno Gazette-Journal, noting that Dresser's action would have been illegal even in states like Oregon that have death with dignity laws.

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