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Charge dismissed against California man in wife's suicide

A judge has dismissed a felony voluntary manslaughter charge against a California man who says he helped his ailing wife hang herself - reducing the possible punishment for his role in her death.

Posted: Aug. 19, 2018 3:04 PM

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a felony voluntary manslaughter charge against a California man who says he helped his ailing wife hang herself - reducing the possible punishment for his role in her death.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Saturday that 65-year-old David Clement still faces a charge of aiding suicide, a felony that carries up to three years in prison.

Clement was arrested Jan. 10 after he called 911 to report helping 52-year-old Debra Bales kill herself. He told investigators that Bales was determined to die after being told she could no longer take prescription pain medications she had relied on for more than two decades.

His lawyers argued that prosecutors didn't provide evidence that Clement was an active participant in Bales' death.

The manslaughter charge could have carried an 11-year sentence.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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