Bothell man says terminally ill wife asked him to shoot her

BOTHELL, Wash. -- A man accused of fatally shooting his wife in their Bothell home Wednesday told detectives his wife was terminally ill had asked him to kill her, prosecutors said.

Police say 54-year-old Donald McNeely called 911 just after 3 p.m. to report he'd just shot his wife. When officers arrived at the home in the 1100 block of 202nd Street SE, they found the body of 52-year-old Linda McNeely. The man was arrested without incident, police said.

Donald McNeely told detectives his wife was suffering from untreatable brain cancer and had asked on several occasions to shoot her, according to court documents. His daughter also told detectives she heard Linda McNeely ask Donald to shoot her four months ago, but she talked him out of it.

On Wednesday, Donald McNeely said his wife returned home from hospice care and fell asleep on the couch. He said he got a gun and sat by the couch for two hours before deciding to pull the trigger, according to court documents. He then called 911 and his two adult children to come to the home. The wife's body was found under a blanket.

In court Thursday, prosecutors asked that McNeely be held on $500,000 bail. But Dan Wackerman, McNeely's defense attorney, told the judge it was simply "a tragic case of a man with a spotless record." He told the court McNeely was not a threat to society and asked that McNeely be released on his own personal recognizance.

The judge appeared sympathetic but had concerns about the number of guns in the McNeely household. She asked family members to gather up the guns and take them to the sheriff's office and she would revisit bail on Friday. But in the meantime, McNeely remains held in the Snohomish County Jail on $500,000 bail.