Woman who killed husband at care home for veterans pleads guilty - KPTV - FOX 12

Woman who killed husband at care home for veterans pleads guilty to manslaughter

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Esther Wilkerson, jail booking photo Esther Wilkerson, jail booking photo
THE DALLES, OR (KPTV) -

A 71-year-old woman who killed her husband at a care home for military veterans in The Dalles pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Esther Wilkerson pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Wednesday. She was initially arrested on the charge of murder for the death of her husband, 67-year-old James Wilkerson, in October 2015.

Police responded to reports of a stabbing at the Oregon Veterans' Home on the 700 block of Veterans Drive on Oct. 18, 2015.  

James Wilkerson was pronounced dead at the scene.

A possible motive was not released, but court documents state Esther Wilkerson intentionally caused her husband's death "while under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance."

Additional court documents state she "knew and had reason to know of the particular vulnerability of James Wilkerson by reason of his physical disability and diminished mental capacity which increased the harm caused by the offense." 

The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs said James Wilkerson served for more than 20 years in the Navy, including service in Vietnam.

According to the Oregon Veterans' Home website, the facility provides 24-hour long-term skilled nursing and rehabilitative care for honorably discharged veterans, their spouses and parents who had a child die while serving in the U.S. military.

Esther Wilkerson was given the Measure 11 mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with credit for time served. She was also sentenced to three years post-prison supervision.

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