A 76-year-old allegedly shot her 83-year-old best friend after she broke her ankle and begged for death.
On Sunday, police were called to Pinewood Glen Retirement Community in Bakersfield, California. After investigating the call, the police found a woman, known only as ‘Winnie’, with multiple injuries. Additionally, 76-year-old Sandra Bonertz was in the room still holding the suspected murder weapon.
Police stated that Bonertz willingly gave up her weapon and cooperated with officers. Later, she admitted to assaulting her roommate the previous evening.
On the back of this incident, Bonertz appeared at an arraignment hearing on Tuesday in a grey jumpsuit, handcuffs and leg irons. According to the Bakersfield Californian, when asked about her plea Bonertz could not respond until a bailiff gave her a portable headset so that she could hear properly.
The retiree pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. However, Judge Michael Bush ordered Bonertz to be held without bail because of the seriousness of the crime she’s charged with.
A close friend of Bonertz and Winnie, Cheryl Sperry, discussed the case with reporters outside the courthouse:
They were the dearest of friends, they did everything for each other, they never fought. I know there was no anger or anything involved like that.
I do believe that Winnie begged her to kill her. She had said that on many occasions in front of me, if I ever can’t walk please kill me.
The friend also detailed the issues that Winnie had with her ankles to KGET-TV:
Winnie was in a car accident a month ago, Winnie and Sandy both, and Winnie broke her ankle and she was unable to walk and she was unable to get into a doctor.
It takes three months to get into a doctor these days and she was completely miserable.
I talked to them Thursday, she was depressed and distraught, just down in the dumps. I don’t believe there was any malice or anything like that.
The Pinewood Glen Retirement Community is managed by the Kern County Housing Authority. In a statement, the authority said ‘It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of a resident at Pinewood Glen on Sunday.’ They added that police had said it was ‘an instance of domestic abuse’ and drew attention to the fact that the retirement community has a ‘strict policy prohibiting weapons at the property.’
Bonertz is currently being held without bail and is due back in court on August 9.
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