Elderly Mom Killed by Husband Who Couldn't Afford Medication: Cops

Image: William J. Hager
William J. Hager, 86, of Port St. Lucie, Florida.St. Lucie County Jail

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By Ali Gostanian

An elderly man said he fatally shot his ailing wife while she slept because he couldn't afford her medication, according to an arrest affidavit.

William J. Hager, 86, allegedly told deputies who were sent to his home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, that he had "bad news" and had killed his wife about five hours earlier.

William J. Hager, 86, of Port St. Lucie, Florida.St. Lucie County Jail

Carolyn F. Hager was found propped up with pillows and covered with a blanket in bed with a gunshot wound to the left side of her head.

The affidavit quoted the victim's husband as apologizing to police for not contacting them earlier. "I wanted to tell my kids what happened first," William Hager allegedly told an officer at the scene.

He said that his wife had suffered from several illnesses that required numerous medications, which he could no longer afford, the document added.

William Hager told officers that he had contemplated killing his wife for several days because she had been in pain. He said that his wife had stated in the past that she wanted to die, but had never specifically asked him to kill her.

Police told a news conference Tuesday the victim had been unwell for around 15 years.

NBC station WPTV reported that William Hager filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and took a job at Sears for a while to help pay for his wife's medication.

On Monday, he woke at around 7:30 a.m. ET to go to the bathroom, before retrieving a "Colt .32 caliber revolver from his nightstand" and went "into Carolyn's bedroom, where she was still asleep, and shot her in the head," police quoted William Hager as saying in the affidavit.

"Hager stated he put the gun down on a dresser and went out to the kitchen and drank coffee," the document added. He later contacted his daughters.

Hager was charged with first-degree murder and was being held without bond Wednesday at the St. Lucie County Jail.

Alexander Smith contributed.