• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Elderly man charged for OC 'mercy killing'

Roy Laird, 88, allegedly shot and killed his 86-year-old wife in a nursing home in Seal Beach on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010.

November 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
An 88-year-old man accused of fatally shooting his wife inside a Seal Beach nursing home has been charged with one count of murder.The family of Roy Laird called the murder a "mercy killing."

The couple had been married nearly 70 years. Three months ago, Laird made the decision to place his 86-year-old wife Clara at Country Villa Seal Beach Healthcare Center, a nursing home in Seal Beach.

Laird's daughter Kathy Palmateer told Eyewitness News that her mother suffered from dementia and was very ill.

"My dad loved my mom very much," Palmateer said. "They were getting ready to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in December. It was a mercy killing. She was very ill."

Police surrounded the home minutes after receiving a 911 call on Sunday that a shot had been fired. They found Laird in the room with his wife, and they recovered the revolver allegedly used in the shooting.

Roy Laird is being held on $1 million bail and is set to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.