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By Corky Siemaszko

He made it easy for the detectives.

An ex-cop named Jeffrey Hawkins called a Ohio 911 dispatcher and confessed that he fatally shot his wife, police said Tuesday.

"I just shot and killed my wife," Hawkins said in audio tape released by police. He then spells his name for the dispatcher.

"You said you just shot and killed your wife?" the incredulous dispatcher replied.

Jeffery HawkinsHamilton County jail

"Yes," Hawkins replied. "I'm on the sink I'm not a threat to anybody. I'm a former police officer. I'm not sure what happened."

In the 911 call, Hawkins said he shot his spouse multiple times and that they had been fighting over money.

"She took all the money out of our bank account on my birthday on Saturday," he said, breaking down crying. "God. God forgive me."

Hawkins, who turned 57 on Saturday, surrendered peacefully when cops arrived at his home Monday in the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township, police spokesman Jim Love told NBC News.

"It was a suburb of Chicago," Love said, when asked where Hawkins had served as a lawman.

Love directed a reporter to Hawkins' LinkedIn page, which, among other things, describes him as private security consultant and a graduate of the Chicago Police Academy.

Hawkins was formally charged with murder Tuesday in Hamilton County Court and ordered held on $3 million bond, according to the court clerk's web site.

While Hawkins' lawyer had asked for a reduced bond, Municipal Court Judge Brad Greenberg insisted on the unusually high figure because the suspect had been charged earlier with battery. The judge did not go into detail, the paper reported.

Asked if Hawkins and his 59-year-old wife JoAnn had a history of domestic violence, Love said: "We were called out to their house once before." He did not describe the incident.

Jo Ann Hawkins' son, Bo Hart, told the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati that he and his brother, Zach, long suspected there was mental abuse in the marriage.

"We've been scared," Hart said. "We know what's he's capable of."