TYLER, Texas (AP) — A retired East Texas dentist on trial for the shooting death of his wife of 26 years said he only shot her twice because his gun didn't work, according to a 911 tape played Wednesday for jurors.
Bobby Ray Nichols, 76, faces life in prison if he's convicted of murder in the death of 71-year-old Rosalind Nichols. Nichols previously admitted to shooting his wife on the night of June 29, 2012, after a heated argument at their Tyler home.
Prosecutors played a tape of the 911 call Nichols made to report the shooting.
"This is Dr. Bobby Nichols," he said on the tape, according to KLTV-TV. "I just killed my wife, and I need an ambulance."
Nichols tells the person taking the call that he shot his wife in the stomach and she died almost instantly, the television station reported.
Prosecutor Richard Vance pointed to the call in his opening statement and said Nichols' statement that the gun wouldn't work "ought to disturb you."
"He missed once," Vance added. "He wasn't going to miss again."
Mary White, a paramedic at the East Texas Medical Center, testified that Rosalind's body was cool to the touch at the scene of the shooting.
Nichols blamed himself in an interview with The Associated Press days after the shooting
"We just got in a fight and I screwed up and killed her with a gun," Nichols said during the interview. "I miss her very much. I loved her."
According to an arrest affidavit from the incident, Nichols told police his wife ordered him out of the house, but he went to his pickup truck and got a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. After their argument continued, he said he shot her twice.
Nichols said he tried to give his wife mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but failed.
"If I get convicted, I'm 75, I'll never see the light of day," he told the AP. "I'm so sorry."
His stepdaughter's husband, David Dial, testified the two men got along well but he did see Bobby and Rosalind Nichols argue.
"Bobby would lose his cool over insignificant items, like if the rolls weren't in the oven when the meat was ready," Dial said.