Husband charged with murdering hospitalized wife, citing medical bills and care burden

Ronnie Wiggs made his first appearance Monday on a second-degree murder charge. (Credit: Independence Police Dept)

A Kansas City-area man is charged with killing his hospitalized wife after he told police he couldn't take care of her or afford her medical bills, according to court records.

Ronnie Wiggs is charged with second-degree murder. A phone message that was left with the public defender’s office wasn’t immediately returned.

His wife was getting a new port for her dialysis when staff at Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence called a "code blue" Friday because she was unresponsive.

Staff managed to get her pulse back, but they determined she was brain dead and made preparations to harvest her organs, according to the probable cause statement. His wife died Saturday.

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After the attack, Wiggs left the hospital. But the statement said the woman's son brought Wiggs back to see her and he confessed. Staff heard him say, "I did it, I killed her, I choked her," according to the statement.

He then was arrested and told a detective that he covered his wife's nose and mouth to keep her from screaming, the statement said. He said he was depressed and couldn't handle the caregiving and bills.

He said he also attempted to kill his wife while she was at a rehabilitation facility, but she woke up and told him not do that again, the statement said. He said he was going to try to kill his wife another time while she was hospitalized, but he didn’t get the chance because she was hooked up to several monitors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.