78-Year-Old New Rochelle Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Wife

He may have called it mercy killing, but prosecutors called it manslaughter.

Paul Weinstein, of New Rochelle, plead guilty Thursday to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree after shooting his ailing, elderly wife.

The 78-year-old former pharmacist shot his wife, Helena, on September 23, 2009.
Weinstein initially told police that the shooting was a mercy killing, but later said an argument with his wife “set him off” and that he shot her after failing to suffocate her with a pillow.

Weinstein called 911 to report the murder and threatened to shoot himself: When cops arrived at the senior housing complex, they found him with a World War II-era Luger pointed his head.

Members of the New Rochelle Critical Incident Unit tactical team set up in the building until Weinstein surrendered to police after about thirty minutes.

“The personal tragedy that the defendant faced in dealing with his wife’s illness does not in any way excuse his action," Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said. "Although his wife had apparently been suffering a great deal, that does not give anyone, no matter what the relationship, the ability to take another person’s life.”

Weinstein will face up eight years behind bars when sentenced on August 3.

Assistant District Attorney Christine O’Connor of the Superior Court Trial Division prosecuted the case.

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