A Connecticut man with dementia who told cops he accidentally shot and killed his wife while showing her a shotgun has been charged with murder, police said.
Albert Kokoth, 77, called New Canaan police on May 6 to report an accidental shooting inside his home. Responding cops later found his 75-year-old wife, Margaret Kokoth, dead from a gunshot wound, police said in a statement.
Kokoth was initially charged with second-degree assault, a second-degree assault with a firearm and illegal discharge of a firearm in the fatal shooting he claimed occurred while showing his wife a shotgun before a trip to a gun range, the Stamford Advocate reported.
Police said Tuesday that Kokoth’s claims of accidentally shooting his wife were “not supported” after a coroner ruled Margaret Kokoth was wounded twice by the gunfire.
“The autopsy did confirm at least two distinct wounds,” police said. “One to the torso and one to the victim’s head.”
At least three separate shotgun slugs were recovered during the investigation, including one from a wall inside the couple’s home. Fragments were also found embedded into the ceiling, police said.
Kokoth was covered in blood when cops got to the home, according to police reports obtained by the Stamford Advocate. He claimed he “accidentally shot” his wife and started “chuckling slightly” when asked if she was still breathing, police reports show.
“Uh, no, I don’t think she’s breathing,” Kokoth reportedly told cops.
Kokoth’s son-in-law told investigators he believed the retired aircraft engineer was suffering from “a lot of mental issues,” saying he and his wife were increasingly concerned about his dementia in recent months, police reports show.
Kokoth’s son-in-law said his wife told him just one or two months earlier that “if they don’t do something they’re going to find [Margaret Kokoth] shot dead,” according to the police reports.
An attorney for Kokoth, who was already jailed on the initial charges, declined to discuss details of the shooting Tuesday.
“This is a very sensitive and serious family matter and we will review the discovery and work very quickly to a very fair resolution of this case,” attorney Mark Sherman told the Associated Press.
Kokoth, who was ordered held on $2 million bond at the Bridgeport Correctional Center, is due back in court on Sept. 20.
With Post wires