LONDON, Ky. (AP) — A southeastern Kentucky man charged Wednesday with killing his wife said he fatally shot her because she asked him to end her suffering from terminal breast cancer.
Ernest Chris Chumbley, 48, of London, Ky., told WKYT-TV he fired the shots that killed 44-year-old Virginia M. Chumbley.
“I shot her,” he told the station from the Laurel County jail Wednesday. “She died from my shots, but it’s not murder.”
He pleaded not guilty in Laurel County District Court and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 5.
The Laurel County sheriff’s office said Ernest Chumbley called authorities about 2:30 a.m. EDT and told them he had shot his wife. Deputies found her dead in the bedroom. Chumbley was waiting in the couple’s living room when deputies arrived. He was arrested and was being held on $200,000 bond.
Chumbley told WLEX-TV he loved his wife, who he said had been fighting cancer for several years.
“She mentioned hospice and all that. She didn’t want that,” he said. “I loved her. I love her, and she took it as far as she wanted to go.”
Neighbor Stan Campbell said Virginia Chumbley was in a lot of pain.
“The only reason I could think he shot her is she probably asked him to, because she was hurting so bad,” Campbell said.
Neighbors said the couple had been married for more than 20 years and had a loving marriage.
Ernest Chumbley doesn’t blame deputies for arresting him, which the sheriff’s office said was accomplished without incident.
“I just did what she asked,” he said. “And I would expect no different from her if I was asking her.”