A 78-year-old man, James Flora, from Washington in the United States, has been arrested for allegedly killing his wife of 53 years.
The suspect hit the wife with a hammer on the head because he suspected her of cheating, investigators say.
Flora was booked into the Pierce County Jail on August 3,2020, on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of his wife identified as 74-year-old Ella Joyce.
The suspect had walked into Tacoma General Hospital and told staff that he had choked his wife during a fight at their home.
Officers with the University Place Police Department responded to the Flora family’s home, located on the 5600 block of 61st Avenue West, to perform a welfare check on the wife after the husband’s statement.
According to a report, when officers rang the doorbell, no one answered, so they gained entry into the house through an open window and found the woman dead.
An autopsy performed by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the victim’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Investigators say James repeatedly struck his wife with a hammer and then put plastic wrap on her mouth and nose until she stopped breathing.
Documents charging him for the murder, said to have been cited by Tacoma News Tribune, noted that the couple had a volatile relationship.
The publication said their neighbours reported they often hear screams coming from their house.
James claimed his wife had been cheating on him for years and that he knew about it.
The couple reportedly got into an argument on August 2, after Ella allegedly sneezed into her husband’s dinner.
The pair eventually walked away from the fight, and James fell asleep in a chair.
He told police that he woke up to find Ella trying to cut his dialysis tube and slit his wrist, inflicting two cuts.
James said he went to the bathroom to take care of his wounds and returned brandishing a hammer, which he allegedly used to attack his wife.
“He continued to strike her with the hammer and said that he could not stop,” the court documents said.
“When asked why he was hitting his wife with the hammer, he stated that it was because his wife was a ‘ho’,” the documents added.
In an effort to stop her from screaming, James said he put plastic wrap on her face.
The couple have two grown daughters and several grandchildren.
One of their daughters, Patrice Flora, wrote on Facebook:
“How can you have 53 years of marriage and kill them like a wild animal!! I pray the hell you put my mother through in her final minutes you will experience everyday until you die!!”