PHOENIX (March 29, 2013)—George Sanders, 86, who carried out a mercy killing by shooting his seriously ill wife in the head was sentenced to probation Friday after an emotional hearing during which family members tearfully spoke on his behalf.
Sanders could been sentenced to as much as 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter, but the judge opted for probation.
The World War II veteran told authorities his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969, and the couple moved from Washington state to the retirement community of Sun City outside Phoenix in the 1970s for the warm, dry climate.
She was diagnosed with gangrene on her foot just a few days before the shooting.
In a heartbreaking confession, Sanders said his wife begged him to kill her.