William J. Hager is accused of killing his wife, Carolyn, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, May 16 because he couldn't afford to buy her medication (video below).
According to an arrest affidavit, William shot Carolyn while she slept, then he drank some coffee, called his adult daughters who live out of state and, finally, called 911.
"I want to apologize I didn’t call earlier, I wanted to tell my kids what happened first," William allegedly told the police, notes WPTV.
William, who is charged with first-degree murder, told the cops that he had thought about killing his wife, who was in poor health, for days, according to the arrest affidavit.
The Port St. Lucie Sheriff's Office said May 17 that Carolyn had suffered from severe arthritis and other illnesses for about 15 years.
Sandy Ford, Carolyn's neighbor, recalled seeing her a few days prior: "I saw her outside and she said. 'I haven't been feeling very well at all, I've been in excruciating pain with my back.'"
"I don't understand it," Ford added. "Because my feeling in life is there's always a way, you just have to find it."
The Hagers reportedly filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and William worked at Sears for some time to help pay for Carolyn's medication.
"These stories, I'm quite sure you'll hear from many people, that they actually decide whether they are going to pay the electric bill this month or going to buy the drug that may be keeping them alive," said Andrew Passeri, Executive Director at Hands of St. Lucie County, an organization that helps people pay for their medication.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) said in a February report that the average yearly cost of drugs normally prescribed to seniors jumped from $5,571 in 2006 up to $11,341 in 2013, noted RT.
According to the AARP's report, prices went up on generic drugs because production rates were lower than demand, and some generic drugs were bought up by big drug companies that jacked the prices up.