KEY POINTS

  • John Kotopka was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder Sunday
  • Janet Kotopka succumbed to gunshot injuries Wednesday
  • John told the investigators that he had contemplated the killing for almost 10 days
  • He is held on $500,000 bail 

An 80-year-old man from Nebraska has killed his 78-year-old wife to whom he had been married for almost 57 years because he was exhausted taking care of his spouse who was struggling with Alzheimer's. The man has admitted to the crime and has been detained, police said.

John Kotopka was taken into custody Sunday on suspicion of first-degree murder after his wife Janet Kotopka was shot on the head in the living room of the couple's home in Lincoln. Janet was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and eventually succumbed to death Wednesday.

During the police interview, John admitted that he killed his wife because he was "exhausted and could not take care of her any longer,"  Omaha World-Herald reported.

John told the investigators that his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago and her condition had deteriorated over the period. While John and other caregivers tried to look after Janet who needed assistance and constant monitoring, she was extremely combative with all of them, according to the arrest report. 

Investigation revealed that John was contemplating the murder for at least 10 days before he did it. John said he had even considered housing Janet at a care facility but was worried about the financial burden that it would imply.

Meanwhile, Lincoln Police Department’s Acting Police Chief Brian Jackson assured that there is help available if anyone wants to get a loved one into a memory care facility. "They’re there, they're available and we suggest that they always look at those avenues, prior to taking drastic actions,” Jackson said, KETV reported.

people-2991882_640 representational image. Photo: pixabay

The investigators interviewed several members of the family including the couple's son who lived with them. The incident was first reported after the son called the cop's Sunday morning. The police recovered evidence from the couple's home and located the firearm they suspect was used in the shooting.

The charges against John will be re-evaluated following the completion of an autopsy, Lincoln police spokeswoman said.

The court has ordered John to be held on $500,000 bail. He must pay 10% of the amount to be released. The accused was taken to Lancaster County jail.