A 92-year-old Arizona woman accused of killing her son on Monday after he reportedly had plans to put her in an assisted living facility, will likely be indicted for first-degree murder despite her age, officials confirmed. They also confirmed 13 unsecured weapons were found inside the Fountain Hills home she shared with her now-deceased son.
“The problem is she’s 92 years-old. She can’t plead to anything because anything she gets, any prison sentence she gets would be a life sentence,” Criminal Defense Attorney Dwane Cates stated, referring to suspect Anna Mae Blessing, who reportedly shot and killed her 72-year-old son, according to MSN News.
Cates indicated that regardless of her age, she would likely be indicted with first-degree murder and in turn, she’d likely face a sentence of life in prison. Law enforcement will probably make changes to the jail system’s housing to accommodate Blessing due to her age, according to Cates, who questioned how much the jail system could possibly change to adapt to an elderly inmate.
Cates will possibly remain in Estrella Jail, the county’s only women-only jail. She’s currently housed in the infirmary area of the jail, due to her “advanced age.”
“Because it’s not something that happens every day in the jail system, they’re not gonna be set up for a 92-year-old. The question is, can they adapt in order to house her?”
RIGHT NOW: MCSO Sheriff Paul Penzone is giving a news conference on 92-year-old Anna Mae Blessing who shot and killed her 72-year-old son because she didn't want to go to an assisted-living facility.
— Ann Yaggie (@AnnYaggie) July 5, 2018
According to a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office news release, Blessing was distraught and angry for days after learning her son, 72, planned to put her in a nursing home, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
At around 10 a.m. on Monday morning, Blessing allegedly hid two pistols inside her robe while confronting her son. Afterward, “she removed the handgun and fired multiple rounds striking and killing her son.”
Blessing then allegedly pointed the second gun at her son’s girlfriend after the first one “dislodged” from her hands. The girlfriend managed to knock the second gun out of the elderly woman’s hands before calling the police. The suspect had been living with her son in the Fountain Hills area for around six months when the incident occurred.
Blessing allegedly considered killing herself before the police arrived but didn’t have a weapon on hand anymore. When authorities later questioned the suspects, Blessing said her son wanted to her to leave their shared apartment because she “had become difficult to live with.”
During a press release on Thursday, MCSO Sheriff Paul Penzone said that law enforcement had been to Blessing’s residence several times in the past regarding domestic disputes between the suspect and her son.
Thirteen unsecured weapons, all guns, were recovered from the home after the lateste incident. Two belonged to Blessing, while 11 belonged to her son, according Penzone. Blessing indicated she had one of the guns since 1972, when her husband purchased it for her.
Barbara Blessing, the suspect’s granddaughter and daughter of the victim, told ABC that she was alwasy worried about Blessing having guns and previously tried to get them taken away. Police, however, said Blessing had the right to own guns. Barbara also indicated that her grandmother doesn’t need to be locked away, but instead provided with “help.”
“All I want to do is get her out of that jail where she can have her dignity back and get medication she needs so she can rest in peace,” Barbara told ABC15. “She doesn’t deserve to be treated like this, she’s not well, she’s very ill.”
According to Penzone, Blessing indirectly threatened her son previously, apparently claiming she wanted to kill him. Blessing was also concerned that her son would be become violent.
“Both had [previously] expressed concern that the other party could become violent.”
Officers arrested Blessing without incident and transported her to the Maricopa County jail, where she remains on a $500,000 bond. She’s facing charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
RIGHT NOW: MCSO Sheriff Paul Penzone is giving a news conference on 92-year-old Anna Mae Blessing who shot and killed…
[Feature Photo: Anna Blessing/Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office]