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July 9, 2014

Elderly woman accused of killing her 89-year-old husband

TONAWANDA, N.Y. — An 83-year-old woman, described as "a loose cannon" by her landlord, has been arrested in this Buffalo suburb for beating her 89-year-old husband to death.

Police said Phyllis Eson was taken into custody Sunday night at the couple's apartment after the landlord called 911 and asked police to check on the safety of husband Norman Eson, a retired pharmacist.

Officers said she answered the door in blood-splattered clothes, her motionless husband lying nearby on the floor. They said the husband had been dead for several hours. An autopsy report said  death was due to blunt force beating to the head.

The landlord, who lives next door, described Mrs. Eson to the Buffalo News as "nasty, a loose cannon." He said her husband was senile and suffered from dementia.

A police spokesman said because of her age, Mrs. Eson will undergo a forensic evaluation at Erie County Medial Center before her court arraignment Monday.

"This will help the prosecutors, defense and court determine if she fully understands the charges," said Capt. Joseph Carosi, "And, in addition, the consequences if she is found guilty."

Neighbors said the Esons, natives of Toronto, Canada,  moved here in the spring. Karen Mardis, who lives next door, said she heard an unusual noise coming from the couple's apartment Sunday afternoon.

"I don't know how to explain it other than gibberish in a high, female voice," said Mardis.

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