90-Year-Old Man Suffocates His Wife To 'Put Her Out Of Her Misery,' Sentenced To 4 Years In Jail

| by Lisa Fogarty

A 90-year-old man from Ohio has received a four-year jail sentence for reportedly killing his wife of 65 years out of “mercy” because she was in pain.

Robert Shaw pleaded guilty in June to involuntary manslaughter as part of a plea deal after originally being charged with aggravated murder for suffocating his 84-year-old wife, Virginia, in November 2008, reports Daily Mail.

On the morning of November 12, Shaw called police to report that he had just killed his wife, with whom he had a relationship since high school. He claimed he smothered her with a pillow or blanket because he wanted to “put her out of her misery.” Virginia had medical problems that caused her to be in and out of the hospital for months prior to her death, according to police.

When cops arrived at the Army veteran’s home, they reportedly found him sitting at the kitchen table. He told them they could find his wife inside of their bedroom. The results of an autopsy show that she died from asphyxiation.

Shaw’s family has supported the man – whom they say isn’t in the best health -- throughout this difficult time.

“My sister and I would just like to thank you, your honor, Dennis Will and the [Lorain County] prosecutor’s office for your kind understand of our father’s situation,” said Carol Patsko, Shaw’s daughter.

Mercy killings are illegal in Ohio. Shaw’s attorney says he accepts full responsibility for what he did and is “at peace” with his sentence. At the same time, they are hopeful that he will be released after six months in prison, which is part of the plea deal he made with prosecutors.

“He lived a law-abiding life his entire life,” said defense attorney Kenneth Lieux.

Judge Mark Betleski hasn’t stated whether Shaw will receive an early release, but made the following statement: “It was clear upon review of the pre-sentence investigation report this was a situation that Mr. Shaw did not feel voluntarily involved with, but felt the circumstances with regard to his wife’s health necessitated his actions, albeit illegal, are certainly a consideration that has to be appreciated by the court.”

Source: Daily Mail

Photo Credit: Joseph Kranak/Flickr, Wikipedia