Wilkerson Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter

A woman who stabbed and killed her husband at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles last October has been sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to first degree manslaughter in Wasco County Circuit Court.  Court documents indicate 71-year-old Esther Wilkerson killed her husband of nearly 40 years, 67-year-old James Wilkerson, while under what defense attorneys called “the influence of extreme emotional disturbance.”  Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley said Esther Wilkerson had claimed it was part of a “murder-suicide” plan, but James Wilkerson was not terminally ill and had not to anyone’s knowledge expressed a desire to die, adding Esther Wilkerson had not spoken to her husband for months prior to the murder.  Nisley indicated it’s doubtful the motive for the murder will ever be learned.  He also said the frailty and age of Esther Wilkerson and her lack of any prior criminal history make it unlikely she would ever try to harm anyone else in her lifetime.  James Wilkerson had lived in the Veterans’ Home since 2013 and was confined to a wheelchair.

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