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American who killed sick wife said she wanted to die

Prosecution request for 15 years in prison for murderer reduced

11 November, 19:11
American who killed sick wife said she wanted to die (Updates) (ANSA) - Alessandria, November 11 - A 66-year-old man who said he stabbed his gravely ill wife to death because she wanted to die was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison by a preliminary hearing judge.

The court rejected the prosecution's request for a 15-year jail term, acknowledging what it said were special circumstances that led William Holmes to kill his wife Patricia Ann sometime during the night of November 12 and early morning of November 13, 2012.

The couple, who had lived in Italy since 1979, were originally from Hemet, California, local media reported.

The victim, a former fashion model who had been seriously ill for some time, was given a tranquilizer before she was stabbed in the chest and then wrapped in a towel.

Her husband, a medical doctor who specialized in physical therapy and was well known in the community, said that he was carrying out his wife's wishes.

"She wanted to die," said Holmes, who hid the body for a few days before alerting authorities in Alessandria, located about 90 kilometres southeast of Turin.

The court heard that the woman had such crippling rheumatoid arthritis that for two years she could not move from the couch and was in terrible pain.

Holmes was initially charged with concealment of a corpse as well as murder but the judge acquitted him on the first charge.

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