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Olathe man charged with death of wife's nurse

A 59-year-old Olathe, Kansas, man is accused of murdering his wife's nurse in December 2011. Prosecutors have charged him with first-degree murder.

At a preliminary hearing last month, a Johnson County District Court judge determined there is adequate probable cause to try the man for allegedly shooting the 54-year-old woman in the head while she was at his home.

The 59-year-old man pleaded not guilty to the first-degree homicide charge at the preliminary hearing, and the judge in the case set his next court appearance for April 6.

First degree murder charges in Kansas are:

  • Intentional killing of a human being; or
  • Unintentional but recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

According to testimony at the hearing, the 54-year-old woman was a registered nurse. The man and his wife hired her to provide live-in care for the man's wife in the couple's home in Olathe. Neighbors say the wife has multiple sclerosis.

Reports state that the man's wife found the nurse's body Dec. 28. The woman had been shot in the head. Police were called to the couple's home shortly before 5 p.m. that day. The wife testified she saw her husband with a gun earlier in the day. She further testified her husband had fired a shot into the floor that day.

According to court records, the shooting was not the first altercation between the couple and the nurse. In September 2011, prosecutors charged the 54-year-old nurse with assaulting the man and his wife. However, prosecutors dropped the charges when the couple refused to press charges.

From 2004 to 2010, the 54-year-old woman worked at the University of Kansas Hospital as a nurse. State records indicate she was a registered nurse in Kansas for more than 15 years.

Neighbors of the couple were shocked to hear about the killing. Some have known the defendant for more than 20 years and firmly believe "there is much more to the story" and that they refuse to believe that the man they call a friend could possibly be a "cold-blooded killer."

The man did not testify at the preliminary hearing. At his arraignment in December 2011, the man asked for a public defender to represent him in court.

If the man is convicted of the first degree murder charge, he will more than likely spend the rest of his life in prison. The judge set the man's bond at $750,000. He is being held at the Johnson County Jail.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Olathe man faces murder trial in nurse's death," Tony Rizzo, Feb. 28, 2012

Source: KCTV 5 News, "Man charged with murder after deadly Olathe shooting," Jeanene Kiesling and Laura McCallister, Dec. 30, 2011

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