44 Years of Holy Matrimony

So what constitutes self–defense? Although this was not Norma Martindale's plea when she was charged for killing her husband of 44 years, many would argue the 62-year-old grandmother was simply protecting herself–finally, after years of psychological abuse.

A stroke had left Norma's husband, Roland, partially disabled, and relatives claimed the frustration of his disability had caused him to act violently at times. According to police records, there had been a physical altercation earlier that day, December 29, 1995. Hours later Roland was sleeping quietly in a recliner in front of the television.

Norma approached her husband with a Winchester 30-30, a deer–hunting rifle, lowered the barrel to his temple and fired. Roland never woke up. Norma accepted a plea bargain of manslaughter receiving a 90-day jail sentence, one year's probation, and 200 hours of community service.

"He can't hurt me anymore."
Norma Martindale

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