"I did it. I killed her" Man strangles wife in hospital bed over medical bills

Tuesday, May 7, 2024
 - An elderly man was arrested after he choked his wife in a hospital bed, ultimately leading to her death, because he could not afford her medical bills.

Ronnie Wiggs, 76, is charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of his wife, who died Saturday, May 4, in Independence, a Kansas City suburb, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Jackson County, Wiggs told police he killed the victim while she was at Centerpoint Medical Center for a new port for dialysis.

At around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, an off-duty police officer at a hospital in Independence, Missouri was called to the ICU due to an alleged assault.

The officer found a woman unresponsive and without a pulse, but hospital staff were able to revive her and transport her to the Intensive Care Unit, an Independence Police Department officer wrote in the affidavit.

According to court documents, medical staff told authorities that they overheard Ronnie Wiggs, the woman's husband, saying, "I did it. I killed her. I choked her."

Wiggs was arrested and taken to the Independence Police Department, according to WDAF.

Wiggs' wife was not pronounced dead at the time of his arrest, but was later taken off life support due to no reported brain function shortly after.

After Wiggs allegedly choked her unconscious, he left the hospital.

The suspect told authorities that he later asked a relative to pick him up and take him back to the hospital.

Upon returning to the hospital, the relative and staff told police that Wiggs had admitted to choking and killing his wife, according to WDAF.

The station, citing court documents, reported that another individual reported finding "suspicious" injuries, as well as fresh wounds on the victim's neck.

During an interview with detectives, police wrote, Wiggs said he choked his wife in the hospital bed, covering her nose and mouth to keep her from screaming.

Wiggs also allegedly admitted that he had attempted to kill his wife on two separate hospital and rehabilitation visits

On one occasion, he tried to strangle his wife while she was at a rehab facility, but "could not follow through with it."

Court papers show Wiggs told police the victim woke up after he choked her and “told him not do that again.”

Wiggs allegedly told authorities that he killed his wife due to depression.

He added that he couldn't take care of her or pay for her medical bills, according to the outlet.

On Tuesday, May 7, Wiggs was being held on $250,000 bond, prosecutors said, and was set to appear in court Thursday, May 9, for a hearing.

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