Man accused of shooting wife released on bond, wife dies - Your West Valley News: Suncity

Man accused of shooting wife released on bond, wife dies

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Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 11:30 am

An 85-year-old Sun City man arrested the shooting death of his ailing wife has been released from jail on $20,000 bond.

Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies arrested George Sanders after Friday night’s shooting of 81-year-old Virginia Sanders.

Court documents show George Sanders told deputies he shot his wife because she asked him to.

He first called Virginia’s caregiver to explain what he’d done and then called deputies. He told them his wife was sick and had recently been told that she needed to be hospitalized. He reportedly told deputies his wife was in pain and wanted him to shoot her. She died Sunday, officials said.

The prosecutor at his arraignment called the shooting a “mercy killing.”

Sanders was released on $20,000 bond on Monday. Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, said the bond is set by the judge presiding at the initial appearance in court. The county attorney can request bond and release conditions, but the judge makes the decision.

“In most homicide cases, the state typically requests a bond of at least $100,000 to $1 million, depending on the threat to public safety posed by the suspect,” Cobb said. “In this particular case, the state requested a bond amount ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, arguing that the suspect posed no significant risk to the community, given his lack of any criminal history, the fact that he does not pose a flight risk, and the fact that the crime appears to have been some sort of attempted ‘mercy killing’ of his wife.”

Sanders is free and is scheduled to appear in court Friday and Nov. 20 for a pretrial hearing and arraignment, though Cobb said there are restrictions in place.

“His release conditions prohibit (Sanders) from possessing a weapon,” Cobb said.

Neighbors and friends of Sanders and his wife said they had a loving relationship.

“He was a very kind man, very good neighbors.” Arvis Van Klompenberg, a neighbor, said earlier this week. “He treated (her) with a lot of respect, and he would play the piano for her, play the guitar and sing to her.

“He would do whatever he could. He’d take her for a stroll in a stroller. He’s been very kind to her for many years.”

Van Klompenberg said Virginia Sanders had multiple sclerosis since 1971 and was wheechair-bound.

“He left golf to be with her, an avid golfer, a good golfer. He was very dedicated to her.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • BIGBOY13 posted at 4:30 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2012.

    BIGBOY13 Posts: 1

    This is a tough one!!!!!
    Although I do understand what and Why Mr Sanders did what he did. I do not condone it. I do beleive somewhere in the far future, people will be given a choice..much like in the movie with Charlton Heston.. Solyent Green..I think.
    But for now the law is the law. Maybe as society advances, alternatives to painful eventual death will be the law. But for now, it is not. However given the fact, Mr Sanders does not have a criminal history, his age, and other mitigating factors. I think his punishment should not include life in prison. What should his punishment be? I struggle with the answer. I don't think he is a cold blooded criminal and I do believe he loved his wife with all of his heart!!
    My wife and I are praying for him his wife..and his soul.

  • AW posted at 8:48 am on Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

    AW Posts: 2

    I can understand this. I was 12 when I watched mu great aunt die, in my 40s when I helped take care of my grandmother as she was dying, and in my 60s when I watched my mother die. The one thing I know was that they all were at a point where they knew the end was near and they were wishing it would hurry and that what they were going through would end. It is hard enough to see people die suddenly, but in a way I think it is even harder to see those you love linger on, suffering, knowing that nothing is going to get better, and that they are just waiting for the end. At least with pets that you love, when they are that close to the end, you are able to ease their suffering and let them go peacefully instead of having to wait until their body finally ceases existance. If as Mr. Sanders said, his wife wanted to to cease living, I can understand and my heart goes out to him.

  • Junie posted at 5:13 pm on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    Junie Posts: 2

    This is Junie and I was talking about George Sanders who killed his wife, at her wishes., because she didn't want to suffer and he could not stand to see her suffer either He loved her so very much!

  • Junie posted at 5:02 pm on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    Junie Posts: 2

    For over 20 years this man took loving care of his wife.He carried her in and out of her wheelchair to restaurants,social events, trips to San Diego and Laughlin and other places. He took her for breakfast every Sunday morning at the Elks club making sure her food was cooked the way she wanted it. He had a sling made so he could put her in and out of their swimming pool. He dressed her, putting on beautilful earrings and beads at social events..He saw to her every need. He loved her very very, much. He suffered a hernia and a bad back from carrying her around. But he NEVER ever complained! I can supply dozens of friends who can attest to this.

  • Azhot posted at 3:07 pm on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    Azhot Posts: 1

    This is a sad state of affairs and there's no doubt in my mind that this is going to become more and more common. The country has changed and soon euthanasia a-la Dr. Kavorkian will be not only accepted, but encouraged.

    In this case, the law should still prevail. If this goes unpunished, soon others will do the same thing and use the same excuse. Mrs Dempsey is dead and there is no way to know if this is what she really wanted. We still have laws against the taking of another human beings life. Mr Dempsey must answer for his actions.


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