Wife kills disabled husband, self after caring for him for decades

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SAN DIEGO -- A longtime married couple found dead at their Lake Murray-area home this week died in a murder-suicide carried out by the wife, who had been her disabled husband's caretaker for decades, authorities reported Thursday.

Officers conducting a welfare check at the residence in the 6600 block of Bell Bluff Avenue shortly before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday discovered the bodies of 68-year-old James Smith and his 69-year-old wife, Candace, according to San Diego police.

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Detectives determined that Candace Smith, who had provided her husband with full-time care since he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash about 25 years ago, shot him and then herself, Lt. Mike Holden said.

"The preliminary investigation revealed James' condition had worsened and Candace had shot her husband and then took her own life," the lieutenant said.

The couple had been married for about 30 years, according to police.