A 90-YEAR-OLD man was jailed for 17 years yesterday for battering his wife of 67 years to death with a hammer in the US.
John Bunz stumbled on his way into court in Buffalo and was helped to his chair by deputies.
He pleaded guilty in July to first-degree manslaughter. Bunz had faced a more serious second-degree murder charge, but prosecutors agreed to the plea because of his age.
“I’m extremely sorry about what happened,” Bunz told State Supreme Court Justice Russell P Buscaglia.
In addition to the 17-and-a-half year prison sentence, Justice Buscaglia ordered five years of post-release supervision by the courts.
He admitted hitting 89-year-old Virginia Bunz about 30 times on the head and arms with a hammer after the couple argued in March at the retirement village apartment they shared in the suburb of Amherst. He later apparently attempted to commit suicide.
Bunz, a retired chemist, was admitted to hospital briefly after the attack for injuries described as self-inflicted.
The couple lived in an apartment at the Amberleigh Retirement Community in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst.
Amberleigh is an independent living community, he said, meaning residents care for themselves.
An April 2007 item in The Buffalo News said John and Virginia Bunz celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on April 4, 2007. It described John Bunz as a retired chemist and technician for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.
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