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Forum News Service, Published July 04 2013

Man charged in wife’s drug death

ELLSWORTH, Wis. - A Prescott man appeared Wednesday in Pierce County Circuit Court on a charge of first-degree reckless homicide - a day after authorities found his wife dead in the home they shared.

Robert J. Whaley, 60, was a charged a day after he allegedly bought a large dose of a prescription drug from someone in Prescott. Authorities say he administered half to his wife and took half himself, and that moments later she lost consciousness.

The charge alleges that he caused the death of Emilie Jeanne Whaley, 59, by administering a Schedule I or II controlled substance, methadone, without lawful authority.

A $25,000 signature bond was set after Wednesday’s hearing. His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 12.

According to the criminal complaint, Robert Whaley told a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy he purchased the methadone “from a subject in town” but did not say who it was. He said that after administering his wife the drug, she was breathing but wouldn’t respond to his voice. He also tried several times to wake her but couldn’t, which led him to call 911.

The charge is a Class C felony, which carries a maximum penalty of $100,000 and/or 40 years prison.