Did Alzheimers make him murder his wife?

An 88-year-old Delaware County man has been charged with killing his wife of 50 years in their Springfield home after the Alzheimers-riddled woman told her husband to leave, police said.

According to police, Ernest Rayfield woke up Sunday morning and asked his wife, Mary Agnes Rayfield, 87, if she wanted breakfast. When she told him to leave the house he went and retrieved a knife from the kitchen. Things calmed down, but minutes later Mary Rayfield got agitated again and told him to get out, which is when he stabbed her several times.

After the incident, Ernest Rayfield called his daughter, Margaret Doherty, and told her he had stabbed his wife because he had had enough, according to an arrest document. His daughter called police, who responded and found Rayfield kneeling on the floor next to his bloodied wife with the knife on the bed.

The elderly man told police that he couldn’t take it anymore, the document said. He has been charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, and related charges. He is being held without bail. No attorney was listed for him.

According to reports, the couple had four adult children. A woman who answered the phone at Doherty’s home declined to comment.

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