Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Woman Says She Just Wanted Her Hubby To Get In Shape
Photo of husband going under for last time.
Ohio woman pleads guilty in over-exercising death
Feb. 14, 2009 09:58 AM
CHARDON, Ohio - A woman has pleaded guilty to reckless homicide for exercising her 73-year-old husband to death in a swimming pool.
Police in Middlefield, Ohio, said surveillance video showed 41-year-old Christine Newton-John pulling James Mason around the pool by his arms and legs and preventing him from leaving.
Mason had a heart attack on June 2 after the extended swim session.
Newton-John pleaded guilty Thursday and faces up to five years in prison. She told reporters whe was taking the guilty plea just to "get this whole silly episode over."
Police Chief Joseph Stehlik said he counted 43 times on the videotape in which Newton-John prevented her husband from leaving the water. He said Mason rested his head on the side of the pool several times while gasping for breath. Ms. Newton-John said he was asking her to keep him in the water so he could develop greater stamina. "He never wanted to quit anything," she said. "I just wanted him to lose that fat gut he had developed. I was mortified when we went to the beach."
Stehlik says Mason's death was investigated because of previous complaints that he was abused, stemming from his being taken to the emergency room at a local hospital for 2 broken arms, a fractured femur, a broken foot, a dislocated shoulder, an accidental puncture of one of his kidneys, four fractured ribs sufferred in a fall from the attic, second degree burns when he was tied to a pool chair for 9 hours, and a fractured larnyx, all within the previous 18 months. A hospital spokesperson, speaking on condition of gross stupidity, said the hospital staff thought Mr. Mason was just having a run of bad luck.
Mason was a longtime friend of his wife's family. He knew her as John Vallandingham before she had gender reassignment surgery in 1993 and changed her name. They married in 2006. Ms. Newton-John could not be reached for comment as she was in Italy, shopping for a seaside villa in which to mourn her husband's death.
Police did not immediately respond to a call Saturday seeking comment on a motive.
What dummy called to ask what the motive was? Isn't it rather obvious?
Jean-Paul Sartre reporting from Basil, Switzerland.