No charges for man who admitted to killing his wife of 53 years

Frank Mansfield in a photo from WNCT.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina prosecutor says he’s considering his options after a grand jury opted against charging a man with first-degree murder after he admitted shooting his wife of 53 years.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, reports that District Attorney Andrew Womble was surprised by the decision last month to free 73-year-old Samuel Frank Mansfield of Elizabeth City.

Police say he called Dec. 14 to say he had just shot his wife, Phyllis. Frank Mansfield told officers he had been talking with social workers about “issues” she was having. Phyllis Mansfield’s obituary asked for donations to the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The morning of the murder, walking outside their home in the 100 block of Golf Club Drive to retrieve his newspaper, Frank Mansfield was thinking about how he had no choice but to put her in an assisted-living facility, according to the account. But that would mean “she would be a caged animal,” he told police.

He came to another conclusion. He “knew what he had to do.”

He instead called his wife to their garage and shot her.

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