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Elderly Man Held Without Bond After Killing His Wife, "I wanted to end her suffering"

BROOKSVILLE – An elderly man is behind bars tonight on a charge of Aggravated Manslaughter after officials say he suffocated his wife while she slept.

During an interview with detectives, 89-year-old Robert Carl Duhrkopf explained that his wife Marly had dementia and that she recently suffered a stroke. On January 18, 2024, Duhrkopf says his wife begged him to help her and said, "I want to die." Later that evening Duhrkopf says he placed Marly in blankets and held her tight until she stopped breathing.

Initially, Marly's death was considered to be from natural causes and her body was sent to Brewer and Sons Funeral Home.

Duhrkopf was so distraught over the death of his wife that he attempted suicide and was transported to Adventhealth in Dade City under a Baker Act.

While meeting with his children on January 22nd, Duhrkopf stated, "I have a confession to make," and proceeded to explain to his family what actually happened to their mother. "I'm sorry, she just was crying and begging to die," said Duhrkopf.

Duhrkopf told detectives "I just wanted to end her suffering. I wanted to go with her so bad. She went and I didn't." Duhrkopf continued, "She's in the arms of Jesus now."

During a first appearance hearing earlier this week, Duhrkopf was rolled into a courtroom in a wheelchair where Judge Barbara-Jo Bell explained his charges. Despite having no criminal history and no indication that he would be a flight risk, Assistant State Attorney Peter Magrino requested Duhrkopf be held without bond. Judge Bell agreed and Duhrkopf will remain behind bars until his next court appearance in March.

Magrino cited a recent administrative order that allows the state a request a no-bond status on felony charges outside of Capital Crimes, but the discretion is left up to a judge. It is unknown what specific factor led Magrino make that request.

R News reached out to Duhrkopf's attorney but we have not received a response.

R News will bring more on this story as it develops.


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