Lincoln man accused of killing ailing wife now charged with murder

Prosecutors are charging an 80-year-old Lincoln man accused of killing his ailing wife with first-degree murder. 
Kotopka
Authorities say 80-year-old John Kotopka (pictured above) shot his wife in the head.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Prosecutors are charging an 80-year-old Lincoln man accused of killing his ailing wife with first-degree murder.

John Kotopka had previously been charged with first-degree assault and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

Lincoln police say Kotopka shot his wife, 78-year-old Janet Kotopka, last month.

Janet spent three days at a Lincoln hospital in critical condition before she died.

Police were called to the couple’s home near 18th and Dakota St. after their adult son heard a gunshot and found his mother with a bullet in her head.

Investigators said in court documents that Janet Kotopka was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s two years ago.

John Kotopka said his wife’s condition had “deteriorated to the point that she was combative… Janet needed to be monitored constantly,” and that he was “exhausted and couldn’t take care of her any longer,” according to an arrest affidavit.

Investigators say he told them he was concerned about “the financial burden if Janet would have to be housed in a health care facility.”

Kotopka said “any serious thought of taking her [his wife’s] life began ten days prior” to him allegedly pulling the trigger, according to court documents.

Kotopka is scheduled to appear in court next month. He was denied bond, according to court records.

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