Man Choked and Killed 76-Year-Old Girlfriend at Waterbury Nursing Facility

An 81-year-old man is accused of choking and killing his 76-year-old girlfriend at a Waterbury nursing facility Saturday and he has been arrested.

Waterbury police said they responded to Autumn Lake Healthcare at Bucks Hill around 6 p.m. Saturday, and that the victim, identified as Patricia Way, and her suspected attacker, 81-year-old John Jensen, were both residents of the facility.

Way was the mother of seven, according to police.

One staff member told police she responded to a room when a resident came out of his room, yelling that someone was choking a woman, so she went inside and found Jensen standing over Way in a wheelchair, choking her with a scarf. 

She called for more help and one of the staff members who responded said he saw Jensen choking Way in a wheelchair. Staff members took Way out of her wheelchair and started performing CPR because she did not have a pulse.

As nursing facility staff attempted to revive Way, Jensen walked out of the room, down the hall and sat down in the dining room, according to court paperwork.

Staff members told police that Jensen said Way “was evil” and “had to die,” according to court documents.

Jensen waived his Miranda rights and told police that he and Way had been dating and he felt he was being taken advantage of, according to court documents. He said they had been arguing and he started thinking about how to kill her and even asked God to intervene, according to the police report that says he admitted to killing Way.

Jensen was arrested and held on $1 million bail. Police said he initially faced multiple charges including strangulation and criminal attempt at murder and the state's attorney upgraded one charge to murder Monday morning.

His attorney said Jensen suffers from PTSD and dementia.

Bond was set Monday to $1.5 million and Jensen is due back in court on Wednesday.

Police said Way was taken to St. Mary’s hospital and was listed in serious condition on Saturday night. She died at 2:50 p.m. Sunday after being taken off life support, according to police.

According to its website, Autumn Lake Healthcare at Bucks Hill is a short-term rehabilitation and nursing facility. NBC Connecticut reached out to them for further information but did not immediately receive a response.

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