Man strangled wife in hospital because he couldn’t afford medical bills

INDEPENDENCE, MO – A man from Missouri is now facing charges of second-degree murder after allegedly strangling his wife while she was in a hospital bed. The announcement was made by Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County Prosecutor.

Court documents reveal that the man, Ronnie Wiggs, confessed to law enforcement that he was responsible for the death of his wife. She had been admitted to the hospital for the installation of a new port for her dialysis treatment.

On the night of May 3rd, shortly before 11:30 p.m., an officer who was off-duty but in uniform at an Independence, Missouri hospital, was called to the Intensive Care Unit regarding an assault. A “Code Blue” was issued for the victim, as stated in the probable cause report.

A “Code Blue” in a hospital setting generally indicates an adult patient is experiencing a serious medical emergency, such as cardiac or respiratory arrest, as explained by the Cleveland Clinic.

Wiggs was reportedly overheard by hospital staff stating, “I did it, I killed her, I choked her.”

Suspicious injuries were pointed out by another witness. These included redness on both sides of the victim’s neck and a fresh wound in the middle of her throat. The witness stated that these injuries could not have been caused by resuscitation attempts.

Despite the hospital staff’s efforts to revive her, the woman was declared brain-dead and preparations were made to harvest her organs, as per the statement.

According to prosecutors, Wiggs admitted to choking his wife and covering her mouth and nose to prevent her from screaming.

Wiggs allegedly informed the police that his motive for killing his wife was depression and an inability to take care of her or afford her medical expenses.

Additionally, Wiggs is alleged to have confessed to attempting to kill his wife two other times while she was in the hospital. He reportedly said that during her stay at a rehabilitation facility, he tried to choke her but was unable to go through with it. Wiggs claimed his wife woke up and told him not to repeat his actions.

Wiggs also allegedly told the police that he planned to kill his wife again, but was unable to do so as she was connected to several monitors in the hospital.

Wiggs appeared in court for the first time on Monday to face the second-degree murder charge. He was referred to the public defender’s office, and a hearing was scheduled for Thursday to review his $250,000 bond.