In Bend, Oregon, an 86-year-old man is on trial for the shooting death of his wife and his list of grievances against his spouse include, that his wife put the lid on the ketchup bottle too tightly. It wasn’t just his wife. According to prosecutors, he was also upset with his stepdaughter for not wishing him a happy birthday.
Image: AP/Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office
CBS reports, “Mary Anderson, a Deschutes County prosecutor, told jurors about Lawrence Loeffler’s complaints during opening statements Wednesday at his murder trial.
Anderson said Loeffler made the criticisms about his family during questioning by officers about the death Betty Loeffler, who was 83 years-old. The prosecutors said the killing, on Jan. 28, 2013, was a calculated act.”
According to Anderson, Lawrence Loeffler took the phone off the hook, then retrieved a .25-caliber handgun in the middle of the night from the bedroom where she slept. Then he “set a trap” to get his wife onto the deck at the back of their house.
Loeffler shot her once in the neck and then again in the head in what he described to investigators as a “kill shot” to make sure she was dead, Anderson told jurors.
While Lawrence Loeffler admitted having planned to kill his wife, defense attorney Jacques DeKalb said his client was not guilty of murder because he was suffering from delusions, CBS reports.
DeKalb told the jurors, “He had no idea what reality was at that time.”
CBS reports, “DeKalb said Lawrence Loeffler spent about 10 days in a Bend retirement home after surgery to remove his gall bladder in December, receiving hospice care. He said Loeffler was fixated on the death of his own father and became disoriented, irrational and obsessed with death.”
Jurors listened to a 911 call on Wednesday that Loeffler made after the shooting. During the call the dispatcher asks Loeffler about the shooting, and he says his wife was threatening him and he was afraid for his life, so he shot her.
Part of the call was close to impossible to understand. Loeffler is heard sobbing and screaming repeatedly that he doesn’t know the details of what had taken place in the home
Lawrence Loeffler breathes with the help of an oxygen concentrator (see pic).
Mr. Loeffler wept while listening to the call at the defense table.
Guns don’t kill people. Ketchup bottles do. Or something.