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88-year-old man charged in fatal shooting of his wife

An 88-year-old man was hospitalized Monday after he allegedly shot and killed wife, then turned the shotgun on himself, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

James Edward Wheeler is expected to survive, police said. His late wife, 87-year-old Joanne Marcella Wheeler, died of a gunshot wound.

Wheeler was transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center, according to a probable cause affidavit. He was listed in “fair” condition Wednesday, according to hospital spokeswoman Lauren Van Sickle.

The affidavit states both individuals “have been suffering from ‘medical problems,’ and (James) came to the conclusion that both of them would be ‘better off dead than alive.’”

The sheriff’s department responded at 8:51 a.m. Monday to a report of a shooting in the 2800 block of Judy Way, located in southwest Medford, the agency’s Facebook post said. When officers arrived, they found Joanne Wheeler dead. They found James Wheeler with a “serious gunshot wound from the same weapon” in another part of the house. The affidavit says he was found in the laundry room.

“Investigators believe (James) shot his wife and then shot himself,” the post said.

James has been arraigned on a count of second-degree murder, according to court records. A court appearance has been scheduled for Jan. 20.