Thursday, January 8, 2004

Husband, 85, charged in slaying

By Jon Gambrell
Enquirer contributor

GERMAN TWP. - An 85-year-old man will face two felony murder charges after allegedly shooting his wife.

Appearing before Miamisburg Municipal Court via video link from the Montgomery County Jail, Emory C. Atkins was charged with purposeful intent to kill and felonious assault, with gun specifications. Bond was set at $250,000 cash.

Atkins is accused of shooting his wife, Vatura A. Atkins, 79, twice in the head with a revolver in their German Township home on Sunday. She died in the home.

According to German Township Police Chief Lewis Wilcox, a fight between the two broke out during the afternoon when $600 was found missing from the home.

Wilcox said that after shooting his wife, Atkins walked to a neighbor's house to call police. Atkins remained calm when police arrived, and was taken immediately into custody.

German Township, a rural area southwest of Dayton, has a population of 3,600. With its 36 square miles patrolled by six full-time police officers, crime in the small township is usually confined to theft. The last homicide occurred in 1999.

"We have everything a big city has, just not in the same frequency," Wilcox said.

While violent crime among the elderly is rare, Miami University gerontology professor Robert Applebaum said cases do come up from time to time.

However, with the baby boomer population reaching retirement age, he said there could be proportionally more crime expected from the elderly.

"People are people, no matter how old they are," Applebaum said. "Those with violent tempers won't change just because they got older."


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