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Woman shot at Nev. hospital dies; husband charged

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 22, 2014 at 7:02 pm •  Published: January 22, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — An 86-year-old Nevada woman shot by her husband while hospitalized died Wednesday and her spouse of more than six decades was charged with murder, authorities said.

Frances Dresser of Douglas County died from injuries suffered when she was shot once in the chest Sunday while at Carson-Tahoe Regional Medical Center, Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said.

Her husband told officers he planned to "end his wife's suffering" by killing her and then himself, but his gun jammed, police said.

District Attorney Neil Rombardo said William Dresser, 88, was charged Wednesday with "open murder" with use of a deadly weapon.

Rombardo said open murder gives him discretion to amend the charges as more facts about the case emerge. Nevada law does not recognize or make a distinction for so-called mercy killings, he said.

"Filing open murder allows us to achieve justice for the victim, for the family and the community, which is our ultimate goal," Rombardo said. "My heart goes out to the family."

Furlong described Dresser as emotional but stable, adding he has some "significant" health problems and is on suicide watch.

"I'm not sure he was aware that she was alive," Furlong said. "He intended to end her suffering, and he caused more."

William Dresser was arrested Sunday after firing one shot at his wife with a small-caliber handgun.

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