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Man charged in spouse's slaying

BARTON (AP) — An 81-year-old Colbert County man was charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, who was bedridden and under hospice care, authorities said.

William Brooks was charged Thursday in the shooting death of Minnie Brooks, 86, and placed in Colbert County Jail with bond set at $10,000.

Sheriff Ronnie May said the shooting happened Thursday morning at a residence in the Barton community off U.S. 72.

May said Minnie Brooks was shot in the back of the head and shoulder with a .22-caliber pistol. She was airlifted to Huntsville Hospital, where she died while in surgery.

William Brooks told investigators he was having a hard time caring for his wife and decided he could no longer handle the responsibility.

"He said he snapped and shot her," May said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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