Sun City man George Sanders pleads guilty to manslaughter in wife's ‘mercy killing'

PHOENIX - A Sun City man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife last year.

George Sanders, 85, is accused in the "mercy killing" of 81-year-old Virginia Sanders.

George was charged with first-degree murder when he was arrested last November.

Tuesday's hearing lasted only 12 minutes in which prosecutors said that Virginia's family did not believe George should have been prosecuted and did not approve of the plea.

Sanders' attorney called the shooting an "assisted suicide."

George Sanders was arrested on November 9 when Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies found his wife with a gunshot wound to the head inside their Sun City home.

She survived for another two days in critical condition.

George told detectives his own health was failing and he'd had a pacemaker installed just days earlier.

On the day of the shooting, Virginia found out she had gangrene on her foot and feared being hospitalized and dying in a nursing home.

According to court records, Virginia and George talked about ending her life and George retrieved a gun.

Her last words were reportedly, "Do it, do it, do it."

A caregiver and George called 911 separately.

Deputies found George on the front porch and Virginia sitting in her wheelchair, still breathing.

Sanders faces a sentence ranging from probation to 12.5 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 29.


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