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A Connecticut man who insisted he mistakenly shot his wife while instructing her on how to use a firearm was charged this week with murder, more than two months after the fatal shooting.
Albert Kokoth, 77, who allegedly shot his wife Mary Kokoth in the head with a shotgun in May, told police he was showing his spouse the firearm when it went off, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
On May 6, police received a 911 call regarding a possible accidental shooting in New Canaan. Marky Kokoth was found dead, sitting upright, downstairs in the home. A large amount of blood, body matter and skull fragments were found near the dead woman.
A Remington 12 gauge double-barrel shotgun was seized by investigators from the scene. The barrel was open and exposed when police found it, they said, adding that four discharged shotgun cartridges and multiple slugs were also located at the scene.
Kokoth told detectives he’d shown his wife the shotgun in question prior to his plans to go to a shooting range. His clothes were also spattered and wet with blood, police said.
Under questioning, Kokoth appeared agitated and rambled about ongoing feuds with neighbors and told detectives he and his wife ate at Burger King.
A neighborhood witness who previously said they'd had a property dispute with Kokoth reported hearing a loud bang around 11:15 a.m. About 15 minutes later, he said he heard a second bang. Doorbell surveillance footage also captured the sound of the suspected gunshots.
Family members later told investigators that Kokoth may have dementia. For months, relatives had been concerned that the elderly man could harm his wife, they said. According to police, one of Kokoth’s daughters told her husband that “if they don’t do something they’re gonna find her mother Margaret dead.”
Other neighbors, who described Kokoth as confrontational in police statements, also said they believed he was experiencing deteriorating mental and physical health.
The shooting occurred days before just ahead of Mother’s Day weekend. While processing the crime scene, officers observed Kokoth state, “this is some Mother’s Day gift.”
Forensic evidence didn’t support Kokoth’s account of an accidental shooting, investigators said.
Mary Kokoth had gunshot wounds to her head and torso, according to the medical examiner. An autopsy confirmed Kokoth had pumped at least three shotgun slugs into his wife. Her death has ultimately been ruled a homicide.
Kokoth was taken into police custody on murder charges on Tuesday. He was charged with second-degree assault, second-degree assault with a firearm, and the illegal discharge of a firearm. Kokoth has not entered a plea to the charges; he appeared in court on Tuesday and is being held on a $2 million bond.
Kokoth’s attorney, Mark Sherman, declined to comment on the allegations against his client on Wednesday.
“This is a very tragic and sensitive murder case which is only in its beginning stages,” Sherman told Oxgyen.com.
Kokoth’s next court date is scheduled for Sept. 20 at Stamford Superior Court.
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