Grand Jury Reduces Charge Against Elderly Woman Who Killed Terminally Ill Husband in His Hospital Room

An elderly Florida woman initially charged with first degree murder for fatally shooting her terminally ill husband in a murder-suicide pact she couldn’t complete was indicted this week on a lesser charge.

A Volusia County grand jury indicted Ellen Gilland, 76, on charges of assisting self-murder/manslaughter for shooting 77-year-old Jerry Gilland in his hospital room and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm for allegedly pointing the gun at a nurse and a security guard on January 21, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Gilland shot her husband in a plot she said they concocted three weeks earlier and then barricaded herself inside the room, where she found she was unable to go through with shooting herself.

“The goal was for him to do it, but he did not have the strength, so she had to carry it out for him,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said at the time. “We were able to establish a dialogue with her, we used a distractionary device to get her to put that gun down long enough for us to hit her with less lethal (force) and get her into custody.”

“At no time were any of the hospital staff threatened or any other patients,” Young said.

Gilland was denied bond on the first degree murder charge, but now that she’s been indicted on a lesser charge, has asked for a new bond hearing, the News-Journal said.

“None of the charges against Ms. Gilland are capital offenses or offenses punishable by life imprisonment. Therefore, Ms. Gilland is entitled to pretrial release,” Matthew Ferry wrote in a motion filed Thursday.

A hearing has not been set for the new motion. Gilland is due back in court on March 22.

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[Featured image: Ellen Gilland/Volusia County Corrections]