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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Ailing Wife

March 15, 2000

VENTURA — A 67-year-old Thousand Oaks man pleaded guilty Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting his seriously ill wife, telling a judge he had to end her suffering.

"I'm sorry," Earl Lindquist said during an arraignment in Ventura County Superior Court. "I loved my wife with all my heart and soul."

Lindquist entered the guilty plea without hesitation--even as Deputy Dist. Atty. Patricia Murphy warned the retiree that he faces up to 11 years in state prison when sentenced May 4.

Leaning forward in his chair, Lindquist told Judge Herbert Curtis that he is willing to suffer the legal consequences of his actions.

Lindquist admitted that on Jan. 21 he shot 60-year-old Janet Lindquist in the head at the couple's Arbor Lane condominium. He then called police and told them what he did.

For years, Janet Lindquist suffered from a medical condition that was not terminal but caused her unrelenting pain and a constant ringing in her head, according to defense lawyers and prosecutors.

Deputy Public Defender Howard Asher recently described the ailment as a form of neuralgia, or nerve pain, that was apparently worsened by surgery intended to alleviate the ringing.

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