Saturday 25 January 2020

Woman (92) accused of killing son to avoid being sent to nursing home

Anna Mae Blessing is charged with murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Anna Mae Blessing is charged with murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Clark Mindock

A 92-year-old woman has been charged with killing her own 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. They lived in Fountain Hills, Maricopa County, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

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.

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 the 92-year-old’s hands after a struggle. Ms Blessing then allegedly grabbed the second handgun out of her pocket and pointed it at the 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 in the statement. “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.

"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.)"

Fountain Hills is a suburb of Phoenix, and located northeast of that city.

The town is best known for a giant man made water fountain that was built there, and that can spew water upwards of 560 feet into the air.

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