Elderly man pleads guilty to shooting wife of 53 years


ELIZABETH CITY, N.C (WAVY) – A 74-year-old man has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife in Elizabeth City. 

Frank Mansfield entered the guilty plea in the death of Phyllis Mansfield, 73, in Pasquotank Superior Court on Wednesday. He was originally charged with second-degree murder. 

In the early morning hours of Dec. 14, 2016, officers responded to a report of gunshots heard on Golf Club Drive. They got to the scene and spoke with a man who said he had just shot his wife. Phyllis was found in the home’s garage with gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Related: Elizabeth City man indicted on murder charge in wife’s shooting death

According to court documents, Mansfield said he realized he had to kill his wife of 53 years because she needed to move into an assisted living center, due to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mansfield was not sentenced because he is currently undergoing treatment for a health condition. The case was continued for eight months, which is the length of time they expect Mansfield’s treatment to continue. 

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