Sheriff: Elderly husband charged in Deltona wife's murder earlier today -- accused says wife no longer had will to live with illness

DELTONA -- The Volusia County Sheriff's Office this afternoon arrested Robert Benjo of Deltona on a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his 76-year-old wife.
The 82-yer-old husband was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, where he was booked in at 5:10 p.m. and is being held without bond.

Sheriff's investigators have recovered the .22-caliber handgun they believe the Robert Benjo used to shoot his wife, Peggy Benjo.

"During questioning, Robert Benjo told investigators that his wife had been ill and in declining health since she underwent a colon operation in December 2007. He said his wife also had
been hospitalized sometime in the past week," Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said.

Family members who also were interviewed said that during a visit to the couple's
1691 Rim Ave. home on Wednesday, Robert Benjo said that he was depressed and felt
like shooting himself.

Family members, however, thought the handgun was hidden where he couldn't find it. Wednesday night, Robert Benjo said he and his wife had trouble falling asleep and that she told him that she wanted her pain to end and that she no longer had the will to live, Davidson said.
The couple finally drifted off to sleep, and Benjo said that when he awoke this morning, he decided to shoot his wife. "He retrieved the gun from the T.V. cabinet in the living room and fired one bullet into her head while she slept," the sheriff's spokesman said.
Deputies were dispatched at 10:14 a.m. to the home at 1691 Rim Ave., after receiving a call from a family member about a shooting at the residence.
"The family member wasn't at the Deltona home at the time of the shooting, but a Sheriff's
Office telecommunicator was able to call the residence and convince Robert Benjo to
walk outside," Davidson said.
"Deputies arrived at the house three minutes after the call came in, detained Benjo for questioning and then briefly went into the house to confirm that Benjo's wife, Peggy Benjo, was dead," Davidson said.
Deputies then exited the home and waited to obtain a search warrant so that crime scene technicians could go into the house and collect evidence from the shooting. Investigators began the search of the home shortly after 2:30 p.m.

The Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.

A conviction for second-degree murder carries a sentence of up to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The accused is presumed innocent up to or until adjudicated guilty by a judge.