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Prison Term For Elderly Man In Wife Killing

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Gavel (credit: CBS 2)

Gavel (credit: CBS 2)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A 90-year-old western New York man has been sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison for battering his wife of nearly 68 years to death with a hammer.

John Bunz stumbled on his way into court in Buffalo on Wednesday and was helped to his chair by deputies. He pleaded guilty in July to first-degree manslaughter.

Bunz initially faced a more serious second-degree murder charge, but prosecutors agreed to the plea because of his age.

He admitted hitting 89-year-old Virginia Bunz about 30 times with a hammer after the couple argued in March at the retirement village apartment they shared in the suburb of Amherst.

Bunz was hospitalized briefly after the attack for injuries described as self-inflicted.

Bunz is retired from Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., where he worked as a chemist and technician.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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