Norman McKinney is accused of shooting and killing his 81-year-old wife after the elderly couple got into a heated argument over church donations.
The Tennessee man was arrested this week after his 81-year-old wife, Mae McKinney, died in a hospital of gunshot wounds. The Kingsport Times-News reported that Norman McKinney went to the local sheriff’s office on Sunday afternoon, where he encountered sheriff’s deputy Austin Miller in the parking lot and told the officer that he may have just killed his wife.
McKinney took police back to his home, where the elderly woman was badly hurt with a gunshot wound to the head but still clinging to life. She was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital but died within hours.
Police said this week that the couple had argued over money that they had set aside for church donations.
The tragic shooting is reminiscent of another incident from earlier in the summer. In New Jersey, a 100-year-old man was accused of killing his 88-year-old wife with an ax while she slept. The man then stabbed himself to death in another room.
Police said the couple — Michael and Rosalia Justin — had a long history of domestic incidents, but the grisly killings were still a shock to those who knew and lived near the couple.
From ABC News, “Neighbors said they saw the couple periodically outdoors, when Rosalia would be tending her garden and Michael would walk his dog. Neighbor Barbara Szczecina told The Record said she last saw Rosalia sitting on her front porch at 10 a.m. Saturday.”
The neighbor explained, “She used to be in her garden all the time. They were always together, putzing around outside.”
The killing in Tennessee may not have been intentional. Police reports show that the couple was arguing for about an hour when Norman McKinney reportedly pulled a loaded gun and pointed it at his wife. She slapped the handgun away, causing it to go off.
The argument itself may have arisen out of confusion between the couple, Sheriff Mike Hensley told the Johnson City Press.
“According to him, he had put some money back for church tithes,” Hensley said. “He couldn’t find it, and he basically accused her of taking the money.”
Norman McKinney was initially charged with attempted first-degree murder, but it was upgraded to first-degree murder after Mae McKinney died. The suspect is in jail on a $300,000 bond.
[Image from Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department]