Search for motive in elderly man's hammer attack

Search For Motive In Elderly Hammer Attack

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. - An 88-year-old Cheektowaga man is in jail, charged with attempted murder and assault. Police say Martin Turkiewicz admitted to attacking his wife with a hammer at a rehabilitation facility.

A source close to the investigation told Channel 2's Claudine Ewing that Turkiewicz  gave a statement to police indicating what he did was an act of compassion. "I just wanted to end it for her" and "I felt so sorry for her, she suffered," he said to police.

"You feel for these people on one hand, but on the other hand, we as a society can't allow an individual to take a hammer to his wife's head," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

86-year-old Rita Turkiewicz is recovering at ECMC. The couple has been married 60-years and cares for an adult son who is blind.

The crime happened at Garden Gate on Union Road in Cheektowaga, where Mrs. Turkiewicz was undergoing rehab after a fall. Her husband allegedly told workers at the front desk what happened.

During his arraignment, the judge did not order a mental examination "At this point he has exhibited no signs of having any mental deterioration. In the courtroom when he appeared for the arraignment, he was lucid, he understood what was going on," said the DA.

"We're trying to find out the last couple of hours, the last couple of days of these two peoples lives, who they were with, what they were saying," to clearly understand why this happened said the district attorney.

Martin Turkiewicz is a Navy vet and who worked for years in a local factory.

Turkiewicz remains in jail tonight and is due back in Cheektowaga Town Court Wednesday morning.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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