PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An elderly man who pleaded guilty to killing his wife was sentenced Friday morning.

Joseph Manning will spend six-to-12 years in prison for beating his wife to death with a pipe wrench.

Authorities say that Manning was suicidal at the time of the beating.

KDKA’s Heather Abraham Reports:

The couple had been married for 50 years.

At 79 years old, Manning will serve his sentence at a state correctional facility. His attorney says both the district attorney and the judge showed leniency and cooperation throughout the trial and the sentence was a fair one.

Just more than two years ago, Manning bludgeoned his wife Mar to death inside their Whitehall home.

Manning, who was suicidal according to his attorney and on two dozen different medications, pleaded guilty to mental illness to murder in the third degree back in February.

“I’ve been involved in a number of homicide cases over the years, both as a DA and as a defense attorney,” said Manning’s attorney Charles Lopresti. “This probably ranks up there as the most sad and tragic ones that I’ve dealt with.”

Lopresti spoke after the sentencing. Manning’s three children were not at the proceeding when he was sentenced.

“He has asked for forgiveness from his children hundreds of times,” Lopresti said. “And they’ve told him, you don’t need to continue, we’ve already forgiven this, we know that this act was not committed by the dad we know and love.”

KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson Reports:

The 25 months that manning has served in a mental facility and jail leading up to the sentencing will count as time served and the judge agreed that a state correctional facility in the Laurel Highlands that has a special geriatrics unit may be a good place for him to serve the remainder of his time.

“I’m not trying to say that Mr. Manning’s a victim in this case,” said Lopresti. “All I’m simply saying is that, given his circumstances, that this is an appropriate place to go.”

When Manning is up for the possibility of parole in just less than four years, the judge mandated that he undergo another psychiatric evaluation before his release.

Elderly Man Charged With Beating Wife To Death (4/2/12)
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