Interrogation tapes of Sun City 'mercy killer' released

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has released hundreds of pages of documents, hundreds of photographs, and a videotaped interrogation surrounding the killing of 81-year-old Sun City resident Virginia Sanders on Nov. 9.

Her husband, George Sanders, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with her death and is awaiting sentencing March 29. 

In the interrogation video, Sanders outlines his wife's health conditions, including multiple sclerosis and gangrene in her toes. According to Sanders, his wife had recently learned her toes would need to be amputated.

"They wanted her to go straight to the hospital and the caregiver called me and I said, 'No, bring her home,'" Sanders said on the tape. "They were going to go to the hospital to cut out what they needed and then they would take her to a nursing home until she died. She didn't want any part of that."

According to Sanders, the thought of spending time in the hospital was "a death sentence" for his wife. He said she asked him to kill her.

"We talked it over and I said, 'I can't do that honey.' She said, 'Yeah, yeah you can,'" Sanders said on the tape.

According to the documents released by MCSO, investigators found a .22-caliber rifle at the Sanders' home Nov. 9, along with a handwritten note with the words

"I want to die tonight" written on it. It is unclear who wrote the note.

Sanders admits in the interrogation to shooting his wife.

"I went and got the gun and she said, 'Is it going to hurt?' and I said, 'You won’t feel a thing,'" Sanders said. "I had the gun against her head, I had a rolled-up towel so the bullet would not go into the kitchen."

On the tape, Sanders said his wife urged him to pull the trigger.

"She was saying, 'Do it, do it, do it, and I just let it go," said Sanders, referring to the trigger.

Sanders faces up to 12.5 years in prison.