Thursday 23 May 2019

Mum (92) 'killed son over nursing home plan'

Arizona woman Anna Mae Blessing has been charged with first degree murder, aggravated assault, and kidnapping
Arizona woman Anna Mae Blessing has been charged with first degree murder, aggravated assault, and kidnapping

Clark Mindock

A 92-year-old woman has been charged with killing her son because she did not want to go to an assisted living facility, according to police.

Arizona woman Anna Mae Blessing has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and kidnapping after police found her 72-year-old son, named by local media as Thomas Blessing, dead on Monday.

Authorities say that Ms Blessing had been concerned by her son's plan to move her to the assisted living facility, and that she allegedly confronted him in his bedroom with two pistols in her robe pockets.

She allegedly told police that she pulled out the handgun during the confrontation and shot multiple rounds, striking and killing her son.

Court documents allege she said: "You took my life, so I'm taking yours."

A statement from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says that the son's girlfriend was also present, and she was able to get the gun out of her hands after a struggle. Ms Blessing then allegedly grabbed the second handgun out of her pocket and pointed it at her son's girlfriend, but she was able to knock it out of her hand again.

The girlfriend then called emergency services, who took Ms Blessing into their custody.

"It is always concerning when domestic issues escalate to violence or tragic outcomes," Paul Penzone, the Maricopa County Sheriff, said. "They are often isolated and neither predictable nor preventable".

Ms Blessing had been living with her son in his girlfriend's condo for about six months, according to local media reports.

Ms Blessing was sitting in a reclining chair in her bedroom when she was taken into custody, after she refused to leave the house in suburban Phoenix, according to court records.

Ms Blessing also told detectives that she should be "put to sleep" for her actions and had intended to kill herself following the incident. She said she purchased one of the weapons and the other one had been given to her deceased husband, but that neither weapon had been fired since the 1970s.

"As the suspect was being escorted from the residence, she made a spontaneous statement to the effect of 'You took my life, so I'm taking yours'," court documents say, according to local media. "It was later determined during an interview with the suspect, she believed her life was being taken as a result of her son ... and his girlfriend ... attempting to place her into an assisted living facility."

They lived in Fountain Hills, Maricopa County, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The Phoenix suburb is best-known for its giant man-made water fountain.

Irish Independent

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