Sun City man pleads guilty to manslaughter charge - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Sun City man pleads guilty to manslaughter charge

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George Sanders leaving court 2/19/13 George Sanders leaving court 2/19/13

His attorneys call it an assisted suicide. 85-year-old George Sanders is accused of killing his terminally ill wife. Tuesday, Sanders pleaded guilty.

Sanders was facing a murder charge, but he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. He could get probation or prison time depending on what the judge decides.

85-year-old George Sanders admitted to helping his wife end her life. They'd been married for 63 years.

"This really was a lifelong love story and George and his wife Virginia were very much in love," says Janey Henze, Sanders' attorney.

Defense attorneys told the judge Sanders and his wife had made the decision together inside of their Sun City home. Virginia Sanders struggled with multiple sclerosis and that day, she found out she had gangrene in her feet. She would have had to undergo some painful medical procedures.

"They were faced with unfathomable circumstances which would have involved their imminent separation and also a significant and continued suffering by her, neither of them wanted that," says Henze.

Sanders had been his wife's only caretaker. She had MS for decades. Last November, neighbors told us they would always see him pushing her in wheelchair around the block.

"He did everything for her. He played the piano, played the guitar and sang to her. He was a wonderful man," says neighbor Jarvis Vonklompenberg.

On November 9th, Sanders shot his wife once. She died in the hospital almost two days later.

"He did greatly care for her and I think at sentencing, it will also come out that they had a love story all of us would be envious of," says Henze.

Sanders' attorneys say he has the full support of his kids and extended family. He told the judge he's never been in trouble before.

His sentencing is scheduled for March 29th.

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