A 76-year-old woman admitted to fatally shooting her roommate at an independent living center for seniors in California.
On July 13, Sandra Jeannett Bonertz, 76, pleaded guilty in Kern County Superior Court to first-degree murder for killing another woman, who police have not yet publicly identified.
Two days earlier, police responded to a call for a wellbeing check at the Pinewood Glen Retirement Community in Bakersfield. When they arrived, the found the victim lying dead in a room in one of the residences.
Bonertz, who was armed, allegedly told police she was involved in the crime. She was “very cooperative with the investigation” and surrendered a gun, police said, according to Bakersfield.com.
Police believe Bonertz had shot her roommate the prior evening.
A woman claiming to know both Bonertz and the victim said outside the court post-arraignment she didn’t believe “malice, or anything like that” was involved in what happened, suggesting the shooting could have been a mercy killing, Bakersfield.com reported.
“I came here today to support Sandy and to let her know somebody was on her side,” Cheryl Sperry reportedly said. “I've known both of them for eight years and they were the purest of friends.”
She added, “They did everything for each other. They never fought."
Bonertz is being held in the Kern County Jail without bail.