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Woman Charged In Death Of Mentally Retarded Daughter

January 9, 1986 GMT

PRESCOTT, Ark. (AP) _ A woman who said she shot and killed her 46-year-old mentally retarded daughter in a ″mercy killing″ has been charged with murder, authorities said Wednesday.

Esther Helton, 66, shot her daughter, Linda Sue, five times in the chest with a .22-caliber pistol Monday, said Nevada County Sheriff Bob Cockman.

″She’s calling it a mercy killing,″ Cockman said.

Mrs. Helton, who was divorced, believed she was in bad health and would die soon, Cockman said. She said she didn’t want to leave her daughter as a burden to someone else, he said.

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″We don’t know that anything is wrong with her, but she felt that way,″ Cockman said. ″Most of her family died young of heart trouble and she thought she would, too.″

The daughter apparently could not talk, dress or feed herself, he said.

Prosecuting Attorney Duncan Culpepper filed the charges in Nevada County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Mrs. Helton was freed on $50,000 bond and arraignment was set for Jan. 21.

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