Elderly Husband Charged in Attempted Murder-Suicide That Left Wife Dead

By Wire Reports and NBC10 Staff
|  Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013  |  Updated 1:50 PM EDT
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The death of an elderly woman has been ruled a homicide.

NBC10 - Deanna Durante

The death of an elderly woman has been ruled a homicide.

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A man was officially charged today with killing his elderly wife inside their South Jersey home.

Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi announced Wednesday that Williams Coggins, 83, was arrested for the death of his wife Laura Coggins, 81, inside their home on Westfield Drive in Cinnaminson, N.J.

Coggins' bail was set at $500,000 and his first appearance is pending the outcome of a psychiatric evaluation.

Coggins called his brother over to the condo on Nov. 4 and the brother called police, according to investigators.

Officers found multiple stab and slash wounds on Laura's fully-clothed body, which was left in a bathroom in the house.

Police also found Coggins with self-inflicted stab wounds to his torso and lacerations to his arms. They rushed him to the hospital. He was released today.

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Investigators ruled the incident to be a homicide and attempted suicide.

Linda Atkinson, the Coggins' neighbor, says she spotted police tape, squad cars and ambulances outside of her door last Monday. Atkinson says Laura Coggins once knocked on her door over the summer, appearing to be confused.

"The woman had been disoriented before," Atkinson said. "She was knocking on my door one time in the summer asking for her husband."

Atkinson said she heard through neighbors that family members were caring for Laura shortly before her death. Another neighbor, George Privitaera, says he also saw another person being taken to the hospital after Coggins' body was found.

 


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