POSTED: Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 9:48pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 13, 2012 - 7:17pm
NORTHEAST EL PASO — Did an El Paso man kill his wife out of revenge? Court documents show the man behind bars for killing his wife reached out to authorities last year, claiming she was the one abusing him.
Adult Protective Services started investigating the couple in April of 2011, after Ervin Maire claimed he was being abused by his wife.
What may have led 81-year-old Ervin Maier to shoot his wife in the head with a handgun?
According to court documents, Ervin told Adult Protective Services that "… his wife attacked him with a cane and he suffered bruising on his left arm."
Maire declined to receive assistance from A.P.S. to leave the home he shared with his wife Okin Maire, even though an A.P.S investigator wrote in his report, "Mr. Maier has stated that he is afraid of his wife…"
Grace Ortiz with A.P.S. says it investigates anytime an elderly person makes claims of abuse.
"We ask lots of questions. Sometimes they are a little tedious. Sometimes people will think, why are you asking that? What is today? What did you have for breakfast today?" said Ortiz.
A.P.S. investigators agreed Ervin was being abused, and when Maire chose to stay in the home that he shared with his wife, an El Paso medical doctor signed the document checking the box that stated Mr. Maire has capacity to understand the consequences of consenting to or rejecting services.
All of this despite an A.P.S. investigator saying Maire told him that he often times hears and sees things others don't.
Ceasar Campa with The Center Against Family Violence says it's especially hard for the elderly to leave an abusive relationship and often times they choose to not pursue legal action against their spouse.
"Many times victims will call the police, reach out for help and return to the relationship. It is completely common. This is a relationship and a person that they love,” said Campa.
Ortiz says that their hands are tied if an elderly person who may be abused, refuses to leave the home.
"Let's just put it very simply. The elderly is always afraid that if I say anything, or I do anything, they are going to put me away. I'm going to go in a nursing home,” said Ortiz.
Experts say the elderly are no exception to domestic violence, and if you witness any abuse, you should report it to authorities.