Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Seal Beach, California (SafeCITY) - Roy Charles Laird, an 88-year-old Seal Beach man was jailed after he allegedly shot his wife in what was believed to me a "mercy killing."

According to the Seal Beach Police Department, officers were called to Country Villa Seal Beach Healthcare around noon on reports of shots fired.

Laird's 86-year-old wife, Clara Laird, was residing at the extended healthcare facility because of her failing health. She was found deceased in her bed from a single gunshot to her head.

Mr. Laird was found sitting next to her. A .38-caliber revolver was found on the table is believed to be the murder weapon.

Investigators interviewed Laird's 68-year-old daughter, Kathy Palmatee, who stated that her father had been taking care of her mother for the past five years, and very reluctantly allowed her to be taken to the residential health care facility.

She described her mother as severely disabled, without the ability to sit up in a wheel chair, walk, feed herself, or recognize any familiar faces. She stated that her father shot his wife in a "mercy killing."

Laird, an engineer at General Electric, was described by his neighbors as a "sweet man who was upset about his wife's condition." He visited his wife three times each day at Country Villa, and he fed her each meal.

Mr. Laird was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into the Seal Beach jail on suspicion of murder.

The couple had been due to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary next month.

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