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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Lake Wales Police Arrest Man, 79, Accused Of Trying To Suffocate His Wife To Death In Hospital

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“If you want me to do it, I will.” These were the words allegedly spoken by Eugene Dudley, a 79-year-old Lake Wales man who was allegedly caught smothering his wife with a pillow at Advent Health Lake Wales. He was arrested for 1st degree attempted murder with a weapon.

On March 27, 2024, Lake Wales police officer Landon McCosco was dispatched to Advent Health Lake Wales “in reference to a suspicious incident,” according to the police affidavit. A witness, a certified nursing assistant (CNA), told him she had witnessed the suspect allegedly placing a pillow over the face of the victim, his wife in her room.

Eugene placed the pillow over his wife’s ace three times for two seconds each time, the affidavit reported. He allegedly made statements about wanting to move on and have him and his wife go “their separate ways.”

“The witness confronted Eugene and told him what he was doing was wrong,” Officer McCosco wrote in the affidavit. “The witness stated Eugene made statements advising he was tired and wanted his wife to get better so he could go his separate way. Eugene further told the witness he could not ‘do it anymore.'”

Another witness, also a CNA worker, who had informed the first witness about the incident, had observed Eugene covering her face with a pillow. Upon removing the pillow, he had allegedly said, “I am tired, if you want me to do it, I will,” before smothering his wife with the pillow once more.

The victim was asked by the officer if she had requested her husband to place a pillow over her head. She replied, “no. ” After being read his Miranda rights and agreeing to speak without an attorney present, Eugene told the officer he was trying to wake his wife up by tapping her with the pillow.

“Eugene stated his [wife] has been having a hard time staying awake,” the affidavit reported. “Eugene stated he was trying to “rattle” [her] to wake up with a pillow by tapping [her] on the head with it. Eugene advised his wife is not eating any food the hospital has given and sleeps often.

“Based on the above mentioned statements and facts,” the affidavit reported, “there is probable cause to believe Eugene Dudley committed the act of 1st degree attempted murder, by knowingly and intentionally covering his wife’s face with a pillow in an apparent attempt to suffocate while stating ‘if you want me to do it I will.”

It should be noted that Eugene Dudley is no stranger to law enforcement. Arrest for drugs, driving without a license and rape of a child under 12 (1995). In 1996 he was sentenced to 25yrs in State Prison. He appears to have served 8 yrs of that sentence and was released in 2004. He has since been arrested multiple times for violating his probation. 

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