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Update: El Paso man accused of shooting wife pleas guilty

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- An elderly El Paso man accused of shooting his wife to death in 2012 has pleaded guilty to the crime.

After several continuances, a very frail and sick Ervin Maier, 82, appeared in court Wednesday morning in a wheelchair and breathing tubes. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

In the morning, Maier's attorneys originally told the judge they wanted to go to trial.

"He wanted to make sure that everybody understood what happened and the best way to do that is go in front of a jury and let them hear the case, let him explain what happened and let them decide," said defense attorney Jim Darnell.

Authorities said Maier was the one who called dispatchers and told them he shot his wife, Okin Maier, 76, in their northeast El Paso home.

Maier originally claimed his wife attacked him with a cane and abused him.

But about eight hours after setting a trial date, Maier went back to the judge to plea. He gave a brief statement saying he shot his wife because she was sick and wanted to help ease his wife's pain.

"I wanted someone to come over and maybe talk me out of this, but looking at her, the pain she was in, I decided to do what I did. You have to understand she was suffering through her pain for 25 years," said Maier.

He is scheduled to turn himself in Monday morning at 10 a.m.

In the courtroom: Ervin Maier trial: Pleads guilty to murdering wife



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