Family maintains elderly husband was on mission of mercy

The family of an 88-year-old man, accused of trying to kill his dementia-burdened wife with a claw hammer, maintained he was on a mission of mercy when he went into a Cheektowaga rehab center.

Martin Turkiewicz was in tears while in the courtroom. One of his daughters told the judge that her father put their mother Rita before everyone else, including himself.

The judge ultimately granted Turkiewicz the possibility of making bail. An order of protection was put in place so Turkiewicz cannot contact his wife, who is in a Buffalo hospital, where she's said to be recovering remarkably.

Martin's attorney Rodney Personius told the judge on September 9, when Turkiewicz entered Garden Gate Rehab Center on Union Road, he "just wanted to end it for her." Personius says this was a "clumsy act of desperation and passion."

Prosecutor Danielle D'Abate said Turkiewicz entered Rita's room at a time when he knew the patients and the staff would be at dinner, then hit her.

Turkiewicz's two daughters will take care of him, Rita, and their 64-year-old brother, who is blind and was in Martin's care.

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