PHOENIX – The attorney for a 92-year-old Arizona woman charged with killing her son because he wanted to put her into assisted living said Thursday that he's examining places where his ailing client can be brought to get the care she needs.
Anna Mae Blessing has been in jail since her arrest in the July 2 shooting death of 72-year-old Thomas Blessing at the home they shared in Fountain Hills, an affluent Phoenix suburb.
Attorney Ulises Ferragut said his client suffers from back issues, is in a lot of pain and uses a wheelchair.
Ferragut declined to discuss the facts of the case or reveal the types of places he is considering putting his client if she manages to post the $500,000 bond.
"Jail is hard enough for anyone, right, when you are 92, you can imagine how difficult it is both physically, emotionally, mentally," Ferragut said after an arraignment hearing held Thursday.
Blessing, who is being held in a jail infirmary, refused to be brought to court Thursday. A not guilty plea was made on her behalf to charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault.
Investigators say Blessing was upset about her son's plans to put her into an assisted living facility and argued with him over the way she was being treated. After the shooting, investigators say Thomas Blessing's girlfriend managed to take away two guns from the woman.
Authorities said the mother and son had previously expressed concerns that the other could become violent. Sheriff's deputies were called to the Blessings' home several times since January, including a June 21 call in which the son alleged his mother was threatening him, they said.
"You can imagine the whole family is torn," Ferragut said. "You've got one member of the family that's died. You've another member of the family that's in jail. Both are elderly. I mean, this is a very difficult and unique situation."
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