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Columbia man given suspended sentence for wife’s death

A Columbia man was sentenced Monday in Boone County following his wife’s death.

Rowland was given a 7 year suspended sentence, and was placed on 5 years probation.

88-year-old Donald Rowland pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter last month.

Investigators said he wanted to kill his wife and himself so they wouldn’t be a burden on their family.

Rowland was originally charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action after apparently stabbing his wife, Betty, on Woodrail Terrace on October 31.

On Monday several tears were shed in court when Rowland’s oldest daughter took the stand.

She pleaded to the judge that her dad be put on probation. She said her and her husband would take care of him with the assistance of BrightStar, a senior home care company.

“I absolutely know in my heart that my mother has forgiven my father, and I have as well,” said Robin Jones, Rowland’s oldest daughter.

Rowland’s lawyer argued that Rowland was taking a mixture of medicine which caused depression and anxiety causing him to not be in the right state of mind when he stabbed his wife.

The state argued Rowland’s wife was not wanting to die, and that this was not a suicide pact.

“I think sometimes there is a public perception that whenever you have an elderly involved in a murder suicide that it is some sort of romanticized suicide pact between the two of them and that’s just not the case here,” said Merille Crockett, Boone County Assistant Prosecutor.

Rowland ended up saying a few words in court.

He said, “I am sorry this happened. I should have received medical treatment… I couldn’t have done it if I had been in my right state of mind.”

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