DALLAS – A retired 75-year-old dentist accused of fatally shooting his wife said Friday that he "screwed up" when he got home after drinking with his friends, saying he doesn't remember details of the night and misses his wife but acknowledged shooting her in their East Texas home.
Bobby Nichols spoke with The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his home in Tyler three days after he posted a $750,000 bond and was released from jail. He is charged with murder in the June 29 death of 71-year-old Rosiland Nichols, to whom he had been married for 26 years.
"We just got in a fight and I screwed up and killed her with a gun," Nichols said during the interview. "I miss her very much. I loved her."
Tyler police arrested Nichols after receiving a 911 call from a man who identified himself as Dr. Bobby Nichols and requested an ambulance and the sheriff, saying he had just shot his wife. According to the arrest affidavit, Nichols told officers he and his wife had argued about him being out every Friday and "he had all he could handle."
Nichols said his wife told him to leave their house but he refused. He then went to his pickup truck, got a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and went back inside to shoot her because "she wouldn't shut up," the affidavit said. He told officers he shot her twice and she immediately clutched her stomach. When she stopped breathing, he tried to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, according to the affidavit. Officers found his wife's body on a couch in the living room with a gunshot wound.
On Friday, Nichols told the AP that he had never been in trouble. He said after a few mixed drinks with his buddies at the local country club and a restaurant, he and his wife began arguing when he got home. He said he didn't really "remember what happened" before the shooting, saying it was "almost like blacking out" though he thought he was sober.
Nichols said he has removed all the guns from his home. He said he was an avid hunter who had been around guns all of his life but now believes they are too dangerous for anyone to keep at home.
"If I get convicted, I'm 75, I'll never see the light of day," he told the AP. "I'm so sorry."
The Texas Department of Public Safety's online database doesn't show any past criminal offenses for Nichols, and the state dental board shows that no disciplinary action was taken against him during his 48 years as a dentist.
Local police had not been called to the couple's home before, Tyler police spokesman Officer Don Martin said Friday. Martin confirmed that Rosiland Nichols died after being shot twice in the abdomen.
Tyler is about 95 miles southeast of Dallas.
Associated Press writers Danny Robbins and Terry Wallace contributed to this report from Dallas.