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Doctor Who Admits Killing Wife Faces Murder Charge

September 10, 1987

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) _ A doctor who admits killing his cancer-stricken wife with prescription drugs to relieve her suffering was ordered held without bond Thursday following his indictment on murder and murder conspiracy charges.

Lee County Judge Susan Tyler ordered Dr. Robert Peter Rosier, 46, a retired pathologist, held at the county jail pending arraignment Oct. 5 in Circuit Court here, officials said.

The death of Rosier’s wife Patricia, 43, on Jan. 15, 1986, remained a private affair for 10 months until Rosier described his role in a television interview.

″Patty was going to die and her decision to end her own life had to do with minimizing the pain to those around her and perhaps to herself, and I merely helped her on her way,″ Rosier said in the newscast broadcast last Nov. 12 by WBBH-TV. ″If I am somehow questioned, I will challenge the law.″

After learning her lung cancer had spread, Mrs. Rosier had given interviews to the same station a few months before her death to help erase public fear and shame over cancer.

Rosier was indicted Wednesday after a six-day county grand jury session.

Mrs. Rosier’s stepfather Vincent Delman and stepbrothers Russell and Farrell Delman, were named as unindicted co-conspirators and will testify for the state, said Penny Walker, spokeswoman for State Attorney Joe D’Alessandro.

Mrs. Rosier’s physician, Dr. William Harwin, had listed the cause of death on the death certificate as lung cancer. Her body was cremated, and the medical examiner’s office did not perform an autopsy.

Defense attorney Allan Parvey questioned whether prosecutors could prove Rosier had caused his wife’s death.

But Rosier acknowledged in his own words on television that ″I gave her something and terminated her life.″

Rosier surrendered at the state attorney’s officer after learning of the indictment and was immediately jailed.

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