An elderly woman in Florida accused of fatally shooting her terminally ill husband in his hospital room has been released from prison on a $150,000 bond.
Ellen Gilland, 76, was initially charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the shooting, which police said was part of a suicide pact between her and her husband. When it came time to turn the gun on herself, however, Gilland said she couldn’t do it, according to police.
Previously, Gilland was held without bond. In late January, Judge Mary Jolley read the charges against her and denied her bond.
“Based upon the nature of the charge, Ms. Gilland, I am going to hold you no bond on the murder charge and remaining charges,” the judge said, according to Fox 35 Orlando.
Last week, the charges against Gilland were reduced to assisting self-murder/manslaughter and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, HuffPost reported.
Daytona Beach Police Department officers were called to the AdventHealth Hospital on January 21 around 11:35 a.m. to find Ellen had shot Jerry with a single bullet and locked herself in his hospital room, police said.
The hospital was locked down, and hostage negotiators arrived to talk Gilland into leaving the room.
“They announced a code silver shelter in place, and that’s when sort of everything kind of became real,” Dr. Joshua Horenstein told Fox 35.
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“One of the doors banged open, and the nurse came in screaming like this is not a drill. She was semi-hysterical,” he added.
The doctor said he and two others hid in a closet in the emergency room for an hour and a half.
It took nearly four hours before police used a flash bang and a taser to get Gilland to drop the gun, though Fox 35 reported that she was never considered a danger to anyone else and that no staff or patients were injured during the incident.
The Gillands had planned the shooting as a murder-suicide weeks before Ellen fired the gun, Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young told the outlet.
“They had a conversation about it, and they planned this approximately three weeks ago that if he continues to take a turn for the worst that he wanted her to end it,” Young said.
The police chief added that it was unclear how Gilland smuggled the gun into the hospital but that it didn’t appear the facility had metal detectors.
“It’s a tough situation where her husband’s terminally ill so she was already in a depressed state just based on her husband being terminally ill and knowing that the end was near,” Young added.
Young told other outlets that Jerry was planning to kill himself but had become too weak to pull the trigger, the Daily Beast reported. Initially, Ellen was going to shoot Jerry and then turned the gun on herself, but couldn’t go through with the plan, police said.