Elderly Palm Beach County Man Admits To Wife's Murder, 30 Years Later

A South Florida man now faces manslaughter charges after police say he admitted to shooting and killing his wife 30 years after he claimed she committed suicide. 

Lake Worth resident, 83-year-old James O'Neil, was arrested Thursday after a months-long secret between him and his daughter was revealed.

O'Neil told Palm Beach County Sheriff's officers that he and his wife, 50-year-old Verna O'Neil, had been arguing in 1987 about her burning his dinner and her excessive drinking. He allegedly said Verna grabbed a gun during their argument and told him, "I'm just going to kill myself."

O'Neil told deputies that Verna pointed the gun at her head, so he tried to grab it from her, but the gun accidentally fired, shooting her in the face.

When O'Neil's daughter, Sharon McGee, visited her father last October and asked him what really happened to her mother on July 23, 1987, O'Neil revealed that he had actually killed her, a possible cause affidavit says..

O'Neil allegedly told McGee he grabbed the gun away from Verna and told her, "Let me show you how it is done" during the argument. O'Neil then pulled the trigger, the report said.

McGee informed deputies of her father's admission in February.

When detectives met with O'Neil and his current wife in April, O'Neil admitted that he lied about the shooting "because he was afraid he would get into trouble." According to the report, O'Neil told detectives that the shooting was an "accident."

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