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Dakota man charged with wife's murder could "not watch her suffer," complaint reveals
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Dakota man charged with wife's murder could "not watch her suffer," complaint reveals

Joseph Bailly Wright


Joseph Bailly Wright, 79, of Dakota is accused of stabbing his dementia-stricken wife in the abdomen before attempting to commit suicide, the criminal complaint accusing him of second-degree murder revealed.

The complaint also states that Wright said he could no longer watch his wife suffer before killing her.

According to the statement of probable cause attached to the complaint, filed in Winona County Circuit Court, Wright called the Winona County Sheriff’s Office on July 10 and said he had killed his 72-year-old wife, whose name has not yet been released by authorities.

When asked how he had done it, Wright said, “Too many problems,” and disconnected the call.

During the call, Wright gave an address to an apartment complex in or near Dakota.

Law enforcement arrived at the given address and made contact with the property’s landlord, who provided the exact unit Wright and his wife lived in and stated that Wright’s wife had dementia.

The statement said that dispatchers were able to make contact with Wright again and obtain further information.

Wright reported he had attempted to commit suicide by cutting his wrist and stated his wife was in the living room with two stab wounds to her abdominal area.

When dispatchers asked Wright if he was sure his wife was no longer breathing, he said, “She’s not, she better not be.”

Officers were eventually able to make contact with Wright, who they noticed had at least one cut to his wrist and transported him to a hospital in Wisconsin.

The body of Wright’s wife was discovered in the residence.

Her body was situated in a chair with at least one stab wound to the abdomen and apparent blunt force trauma to the face.

Medical personnel were unable to revive the victim.

Upon searching the residence, according to the statement, officers found two knives with what appeared to be blood on them and what appeared to be a large pool of blood.

Officers also discovered a note that stated the writer could “not take it anymore,” could “not watch her suffer” and indicated that he had attempted to commit suicide.

Since Wright was taken to a hospital in Wisconsin for his injuries, and subsequently taken to the La Crosse County Jail, he is facing extradition back to Minnesota.

According to the complaint, if convicted, Wright faces up 40 years in prison.

The incident is not believed to be premeditated.


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