Washington Mercy Killing Suspect Claims Wife Asked Him to Shoot Her

PHOTO: Donald McNeely, 54, is being held on $500,000 bond in the alleged mercy killing of his wife, who suffered from terminal brain cancer.
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A Washington judge will rule today whether a man who admitted to killing his wife out of mercy will be allowed to post bail.

Donald McNeely admitted that he shot his wife Linda with a pistol Wednesday afternoon, but said he did it out of compassion for the ailing woman, who had an inoperable brain tumor.

McNeely, 54, sat with his wife for two hours as she slept Wednesday afternoon, according to police report obatained by ABC News affiliate KOMO. Linda McNeely, 52, had just returned from hospice care.

Everett District Judge Tam Bui said she would reevaluate McNeely's $500,000 bail today after all firearms were removed from his home.

McNeely called 911 around 3 p.m. Wednesday and told the operator he "could not stand it anymore," according to the police report.

He then called his two adult children, who rushed to the scene as their father surrendered to police.

Ailling Wife Allegedly Asked Husband to Shoot Her

Inside the home, police found Linda McNeely's body draped with a blanket. A pistol lay nearby.

McNeely's defense attorney, Donald Wackerman, told an Everett County judge on Thursday that his client has a spotless record and is not a threat to the community.

"Your honor, these are tragic and unique circumstances," Wackerman said. "I don't think there is any reason to find this man poses a risk of failure to appear or of any threat going forward to the community."

McNeely told police his wife had asked him several times over the course of her illness to shoot her. His 25-year-old daughter backed up his claim and said she had begged him not to do it, KOMO reported.

Washington is one of two states that has a "Death With Dignity" Act. The law allows terminally ill adults who are of sound mind and have been given six months or less to live the right to obtain prescription drugs that will speed up their deaths. Oregon is the only other state with a similar law.

It was unclear whether Linda McNeely, a Washington resident, had looked into the program.

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