Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
September 21, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
90-YEAR-OLD RETIRED MEDICAL DOCTOR CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER AFTER SHOOTING AND KILLING 88-YEAR-OLD TERMINALLY ILL WIFE
SANTA ANA – A 90-year-old retired medical doctor was charged today for shooting and killing his 88-year-old terminally ill wife. Dr. James Clyde Fish, Laguna Woods, has been charged with one felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in state prison. Fish is being held on $100,000 bail. He remains in the hospital due to a self-inflicted injury. Court date and time is to be determined.
On Sept. 20, 2009, at about 1:30 p.m., Fish is accused of giving his wife morphine. He is accused of failing to kill her in his first attempt when the firearm did not fire. The caregiver in the house, hearing a click from the next room, took the firearm away from the defendant and called 9-1-1. As the Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded, Fish is accused of shooting and killing his wife with a single gunshot to the head using a different firearm. He then shot himself in the head. He remains hospitalized recovering from his injuries.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.