Man pleads guilty to assisted suicide in wife’s death


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lancaster County man has admitted to assisting in his wife’s death with a prescription drug overdose.

Philip M. Benight, 60, pleaded guilty Friday in county court to aiding suicide, a second-degree felony.

Authorities say Benight signed his 72-year-old wife, a dementia patient, out of Manor Care Health Services on Jan. 22 and drove her to their Conestoga home where he spoon-fed her pudding mixed with Oxycodone, Percocet, and Valium before taking the pills himself.

Both were found unconscious and revived. Rebecca Benight died at a hospital eight days later.

According to charging documents, Philip Benight left a handwritten note that said insurance companies and the care home were “killing” them. He also typed a letter in which he stated he would have to kill his wife and then himself to stay out of prison.

The district attorney’s office has said Rebecca Benight made multiple statements about not wanting to live in her condition.

Judge Howard Knisely is expected to order a sentence in a few months once a background check is completed.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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