An elderly Arizona woman has been charged with first-degree murder after police say she killed her son, who planned to put her in a nursing home.
Anna Mae Blessing, 92, of Fountain Hills, is also charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said that deputies were called around 10 a.m. Monday to a condominium at the Village at Towne Center in Fountain Hills, which is about 35 miles northeast of Phoenix. When they arrived, they discovered that Blessing had shot and killed her 72-year-old son.
Blessing told detectives that she had been thinking for several days about her son’s intention to put her in an assisted living facility. She told the investigators that her son told her she’d become “difficult to live with,” so he was going to put her in a home, ABC15 in Phoenix reported.
On Monday, she confronted her son in his bedroom -- with two pistols in the pockets of her bathrobe, police officials said. During the confrontation, she pulled out one of the handguns and fired several shots, killing the unidentified son.
The man’s girlfriend struggled with Blessing over the weapon and knocked it from her hand, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.
Blessing then pulled out her second gun and tried to point it at the girlfriend, but the woman knocked that one from her hands as well, police officials said.
See Anna Mae Blessing’s initial appearance in Maricopa County Superior Court below, courtesy of the Arizona Republic.
Investigators found Blessing sitting in a recliner at the condo and took her into custody.
ABC15 reported that Blessing made an ominous statement about her son as detectives arrested her.
“You ended my life, so I’m taking yours,” Blessing said, according to police.
Fox10 in Phoenix reported that Blessing told officers she planned to kill herself as well, but had no more weapons with which to do so.
The news station reported that police had been called to the home once before for an argument between mother and son, who lived together for about six months. The guns Blessing is accused of using in Monday’s homicide had belonged to her late husband.
Barbara Blessing, the suspect’s granddaughter and daughter of the victim, told ABC15 that her father had asked police officers to take his mother’s weapons, but was told the elderly woman had a right to have them.
Barbara Blessing said her grandmother needs help, not jail.
“All I want to do is get her out of that jail where she can have her dignity back and get medication she needs so she can rest in peace,” she told the news station. “She doesn’t deserve to be treated like this. She’s not well; she’s very ill.”
Anna Mae Blessing was in a wheelchair during her initial court appearance, video of which was obtained by the Arizona Republic. The only time Blessing spoke was to give her full name and date of birth.
The judge presiding over her appearance ordered her to be held on a $500,000 cash bond. He also ordered several conditions if she is able to post the bond, including the requirement that she not return to living at the scene of the crime.
She is also ordered to have no contact with any victims, witnesses or arresting officers, and to have no weapons while awaiting trial. Blessing can also have no drugs without a valid prescription in her name.
Blessing remained in the Maricopa County Jail as of Thursday morning, jail records showed.
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