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Laird pleads in nursing-home 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 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Roy Charles Laird pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday to a charge of murdering his wife.Laird, 88, is accused of fatally shooting his wife in the head at a nursing home in Seal Beach on Nov. 21. His wife, Clara, 86, had been suffering from dementia and failing health.

Police were called to a nursing home in Seal Beach after a gunshot was reported. Police arrested Laird without incident.

Laird appeared in Orange County Superior Court Tuesday and entered the not-guilty plea. He is charged with murder and a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to cause death.

The judge will allow Laird to be held at a locked-down, full-time care facility. That venue had not yet been determined Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.