Cops: Pa. woman’s death murder, not mercy killing

  • By Joe Mandak
    Associated Press January 24, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh police say a 79-year-old man in custody on charges he fatally shot his wife committed murder, not a mercy killing.

Rather, police now believe Phillip Willett was terminally ill and chose to kill his wife before trying to take his own life before his gun jammed.

Police were called when the elderly sisters of the victim, 79-year-old Catherine Willett, overheard the couple arguing before she was shot by her husband about 8:25 p.m. Thursday.

Phillip Willett could not be jailed because of his medical condition, which police didn’t immediately detail, and was instead kept under police guard at UPMC Mercy hospital after he was charged with criminal homicide.

Police found Catherine Willett on the bedroom floor with a head wound. The alleged murder weapon was still jammed when police seized it.


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