Man Tries To Kill Wife in Front of Family at Hospice

( – Utah man DeWayne McCulla, 45, now faces attempted murder charges for choking his wife Arenda Lee McCulla, 47, on her hospice death bed in front of her family. Police officer Steve Johnson of the Le Verkin, UT police department stated that McCulla admitted to attempting to choke his wife to end her suffering. The affidavit alleges the incident occurred one day before she died in hospice care, on December 21st, 2021.

Mr. McCulla claimed to want to help his wife pass, ending her misery, but Mrs. McCulla’s family members were able to pull him away. Mrs. McCulla’s son, Anthony Michael Ryder stated that he and another member of Mrs. McCulla’s family had to physically hold Mr. McCulla back for about 20 minutes. She died early the next morning. Despite her terminal diagnosis, Ryder stated that she was comfortable in her final days, up until the attack, which scared and potentially injured her.

Mr. McCulla said he would attempt to kill his wife again, if given the chance, to put her out of her misery. Before the attack, the McCullas were reportedly looking and saving money to travel to a different state to seek voluntary euthanasia options, a practice that’s currently not legal in Utah.

It’s unknown why it took two years from the alleged incident for charges to be filed, but the family is pleased that action is finally being taken. It’s believed that Mr. McCulla’s attack may have hastened her death. If convicted of first-degree murder in the state of Utah, McCulla could face prison time of 15 years up to a life sentence.

Mrs. McCulla was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, but the cancer quickly spread to her neck, brain, liver, and lungs. She underwent extensive, painful chemotherapy and radiation treatments which extended her life by months, according to Ryder.

Originally from Binghamton, NY, Mrs. McCulla moved to Utah in 2005 and was an avid mountain biker. She also enjoyed volunteering at a youth rehabilitation center and did so for many years. She married Mr. McCulla in 2020.

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