FORSYTH, Mo. (AP) — A southern Missouri man who told investigators he was either sleepwalking or dreaming when he fatally shot his sleeping ex-wife has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for her death.
Taney County Prosecutor Jeffrey Merrell said that 74-year-old Eldon Ault, of Forsyth, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years for second-degree murder and a concurrent term of 20 years for armed criminal action in the March 2017 death of Dianna Merritt.
Ault was charged with first-degree murder but entered an Alford plea to the lesser charges.
Investigators said deputies found 73-year-old Merritt dead in a bed from a gunshot wound.
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Ault told authorities he sleeps with a loaded pistol under his pillow and the sound of the gunshot woke him up. He said he had no memory of shooting Merritt.