LinkA 65-year-old town man is facing a manslaughter charge for allegedly holding the gun during the assisted suicide of his terminally ill wife, according to state police.
Kevin G. Conners of Break Neck Hill Road, a retired state corrections officer, was arrested Thursday and charged with second-degree manslaughter (helping a person commit suicide) in connection with the Sept. 6, 2018, death of his 61-year-old wife.
After initially telling police that his wife had shot herself, Conners admitted he helped her by holding the gun while she shot herself, adding “he loved his wife very much and couldn’t watch her suffer like she was,” from advanced and spreading cancer, the arrest warrant affidavit in the case says.
According to the warrant, Conners made a 911 call to state police just after 1 a.m. Sept. 6, 2018, initially reporting his wife of 42 years, Lori Conners, had committed suicide by shooting herself in the head with a handgun soon after they had gone to bed.
Conners told dispatchers his wife was lying on the bed in her bedroom and the warrant said he “appeared to be emotional (crying)” on the recorded call. When officers arrived at the scene, Conners was pacingon the front steps, and inside, authorities found the victim had been shot in her left temple and there was a silver revolver on a pillow next to her, the warrant said.
The gun was loaded with .38-caliber ammunition, with one spent shell casing and five live rounds inside the cylinder, police said.
When he was questioned further after police noticed discrepancies in his story, Conners told officers he agreed to hold and stabilize the gun for his wife, but was “adamant he did not pull the trigger,” the warrant said. He told police his wife pulled the trigger and he “paced back and forth until Lori died,” the warrant said.
The couple had done research on suicide methods, and Lori Conners had told her husband she no longer wanted to live, he told police, the warrant says. Lori Conners told her husband and children she “wanted to be with God,” which police confirmed with the children, the warrant said.
Conners told police his wife was diagnosed with cancer in March 2018, which had spread to her colon, liver, abdomen and back, and had been battling Lyme disease for 17 years, adding chemotherapy treatments were “making her very sick and not wanting to live.” He told police his wife was “constantly writing (suicide) goodbye letters to him and their four children,” the warrant says, and that she was in constant pain.
Police said they found more than 13 letters signed by Lori Conners apologizing to her family for taking her own life. Conners said his wife tried to take her own life earlier in 2018, which police confirmed with her medical records, according to the warrant. He told police the couple are “devout” born-again Christians, the warrant said.
Conners is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail and is due to be arraigned in Superior Court at Middletown Friday.