NEW YORK (CNN) – Killing out of kindness? A 72-year-old California man says he killed his wife out of mercy. He says he made a promise to take her out of her pain. However, police call it murder.
Jerry Canfield is charged with murdering his wife Joann. They were married for 37 years. Their neighbors say they were very much in love, “”You’ve heard of being in love? Well, they were that!”
“On a daily basis they were continually together. Where ever he went, she went,” said Rod Baker, a neighbor.
However, Joann had developed dementia and it was growing worse.
Next door neighbor Jose de Dios knew the couple well, “Jerry said, ‘you know, she’s seeing little demons. Demons are chasing her around the house.’ ’cause she had bruises, from like falling. She was running and tripping, whatnot.”
Canfield had to place her in this nursing home.
“He’s be up at seven in the morning, out the door, spend the whole day with his wife at the facility. He’d come home at 9:30, 10 o’ clock and he did this every day. Talk about love,” said Dios.
Two weeks ago, Canfield was finally able to bring Joann back home. That was Saturday, October 25th. He wheeled her up the stairs to their apartment. Neighbors say she was disoriented and unable to recognize anyone.
Jerry Canfield’s lawyer said he promised Joann he would take her life, if she just couldn’t bear the pain anymore. On that Sunday, October 26th, he kept his word. Canfield placed a dozen red roses by her bed and shot her in the head.
Rod Baker is a neighbor, “My wife saw Jerry leave Sunday dressed up very more so then normal, got in his truck and drove away.”
Canfield drove to the police station and turned himself in.
De Dios once asked canfield about his wife’s deteriorating condition, “I said, ‘you know, how you going to take care of her? What are you doing?’ he said, ‘we’ve made arrangements.’ I had no idea it meant helping her out of her misery.”
“This might have been the last kind thing that he could do for her. I’m sure that’s what it was. Nobody could every convince me otherwise,” said Baker.