James O'Neil originally told his daughter and authorities that his wife, Verna, committed suicide in July 1987, after the two got into an argument about her excessive drinking. Thirty years later, the now 83-year-old man has confessed to murdering his wife.
O'Neil, of Lake Worth, Florida, has been charged with manslaughter with a firearm. According to NBC2. com, O'Neil, who remarried, said there was a struggle when Verna, who was 50 years old, placed a gun near her head and it discharged, striking her on the left side of her face. She was rushed to nearby St. Mary’s Medical Center, where she died from her injuries.
The couple's daughter, Sharon McGee, always questioned her mother's death and finally confronted her father about it on Oct. 28, 2016. O'Neil admitted to arguing with Verna and said she had retrieved a gun and threatened to kill herself. But instead of there being a tussle which led to her accidental suicide, O'Neil said he took the gun away from her and said, "Let me show you how it is done.” He then shot and killed his wife. O'Neil said he kept quiet about what really happened out of fear he'd go to prison.
McGee said her father apologized for killing his mother and asked that she not tell anyone. She went to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 24, 2017. Detectives charged O'Neil on April 4, 2017, and he was later released on $50,000 bond.