LI man, 74, charged with killing sick wife in failed murder-suicide plot: cops

A retired Long Island maintenance worker who was weary of caring for his 82-year-old ailing wife was hit with a murder rap Sunday for fatally stabbing her 40 times with a kitchen knife, cops say.

Anthony Heaton, 74, is accused of knifing and strangling Mary Heaton, his wife of 40 years, in what police said was supposed to be a murder-suicide — until the suspect lost his nerve and failed to finish the grisly plan inside the couple’s Wanagh home.

Anthony allegedly called one of the couple’s three adult children after he killed their mom to say what he had done, and the son, who was on a bike ride, collapsed, prompting emergency services to be notified of what had happened, Newsday reported.

Elderly Anthony Heaton is accused of killing his sick wife and then failing to commit suicide as he had planned, cops say.
Elderly Anthony Heaton is accused of killing his sick wife and then failing to commit suicide as he had planned, cops say.

When police got to the elderly couple’s home around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Anthony greeted one of the cops at the door and confessed in a “very surreal” scene, said Stephen Fitzpatrick, commanding homicide officer with the Nassau County Police Department, according to the outlet.

“[The cop is] walking in, and the gentleman announced what he did,” Fitzpatrick said.

Anthony sat on the couch while the officers checked on his spouse, who lay dead on the floor.

Assistant District Attorney Tracey Keeton later told a judge at Anthony’s arraignment on second-degree murder charges, ”The defendant didn’t call 911 after he stabbed his wife.

“He didn’t seek help after he stabbed his wife. He left her for dead.”

The judge ordered Anthony to be held without bail.

Fitzpatrick said Mary Heaton’s “health has been diminishing over the years, and the overwhelming stress of taking care of her and what comes with her declining health got to him,” according to News12 Long Island.

“He couldn’t take it, and he had planned to take her life and then commit suicide,” Fitzpatrick said. “He stabbed her multiple times, strangled her, and he caused her death. He then didn’t kill himself.”

Residents of the Heatons said they were stunned by the news. Neil Miller
Residents of the Heatons said they were stunned by the news. Neil Miller

The accused killer is a retired building maintenance manager who spent 42 years working for Met Life and Cushman Wakefield, Newsday said.

“He basically dedicated his life to taking care of his wife,” Anthony’s court-appointed lawyer, Nicholas Massimo, said of his client. “I believe there might be some kind of temporary insanity involved.”

Massimo said he spoke to the couple’s son, who told him there were no signs of trouble inside the home other than “pressure” from his mom’s illness.

“It’s a really tragic situation,” the lawyer said. “It does not appear there was any issue between them until this alleged incident.”

Police said there was no history of domestic violence in the home on Oakland Avenue.

“Completely shocking,” local resident Nicola Arteca told News12. “Not something we’ve ever expected to happen in a neighborhood, to happen in this neighborhood.”

Another neighbor, Tony Rivera, said he recently ran into Anthony and there was no indication that anything was amiss.

“He was out doing gardening in the yard,” Rivera said. “I said, ‘Hi.’ Didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.”