The Norman Transcript

Headlines

March 30, 2013

Man gets probation in Ariz. mercy killing

PHOENIX — An 86-year-old man who carried out a mercy killing by shooting his ailing wife in the head was sentenced to probation on Friday after an emotional hearing where family members tearfully spoke on his behalf.

George Sanders could have faced more than 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. The judge opted for probation.

The World War II veteran told authorities his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969, and the couple moved from Washington state to the retirement community of Sun City outside Phoenix in the 1970s for the warm, dry climate.

Virginia Sanders, 81, had been diagnosed with gangrene on her foot just a few days before the shooting.

In a videotaped confession, Sanders said his wife begged him to kill her. Wrapped in a blanket as he sat being questioned by a detective, Sanders appeared frail and tired in the hours after he shot his wife in the head.

“She never wanted to outlive me and be left at the mercy of someone else,” he said.

“We loved each other so much,” Sanders said. “It was a wonderful life in spite of all the hard things we had at the end.”

Sanders was initially charged with first-degree murder for the Nov. 9 shooting but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter in what attorneys on both sides have called a “mercy killing.”

“We did a lot of things together, always loved each other,” he told the detective, adding that her health began to deteriorate over the last few years. “I took care of her through that day and night,” Sanders said.

Eventually, as his own health deteriorated, he said the couple hired a caregiver. He said his wife had been diagnosed with gangrene on her foot just a few days before the shooting and was set to be admitted to a hospital, then a nursing home.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Trees Trees take root in Andrews Park Johnny Keeler of Little River Trees plants a tree Tuesday in Andrews Park to replace those lost when the area was hit by a tornado on April 13, 2012. The tornado took out several trees in city parks. Andrews Park was hit the hardest.

    April 16, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High Speech and Debate Team wins state championship

    Briar White’s heart pounded in his chest as he clasped the hands of several classmates and Booker T. Washington High School was announced as the second-place finisher. White said he was elated to hear second place announced because he ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman students accepted to arts institute

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Forty-nine Norman high school students have been accepted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, an arts academy hosted June 14-29 in southwestern Oklahoma. The Norman students were among 270 artists ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Ukraine bares teeth against eastern uprising

    KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces repelled an attack Tuesday by about 30 gunmen at an airport, beginning what the president called an “anti-terrorist ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Supremacist faces murder charges

    OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The white supremacist charged in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City made his first court appearance Tuesday....

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Senate approves limits on abortion drug

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma in a bill written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision....

    April 16, 2014

  • OU History of Science Department receives Sloan Foundation Grant

    The University of Oklahoma History of Science Department has received a $350,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a project to build an innovative tool for collaborative research centered on the 100-year-old Isis ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High, North named top schools in nation

    Norman High and Norman North have once again been identified as two of the most rigorous high schools in the state and nation. The Washington Post’s 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list, the first of annual national high school ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Survey data web portal to be demonstrated next week

    A new tool is available from the Oklahoma Water Survey, at the University of Oklahoma, for organizations in the state that collect and use water data. Oklahoma Water Survey Director Robert Puls will demonstrate Phase I of a new water data ...

    April 16, 2014