Blunt force/electrocution likely killed elderly Virginia Beach woman


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Recently unsealed court documents reveal new information in the case of an elderly man accused of killing his wife in Virginia Beach.

The documents show 75-year-old Marlene Woltz suffered from blunt force trauma. Police also found evidence of electrocution. Her husband, 73-year-old Richard Woltz, is charged with second-degree murder.

10 On Your Side spoke with a friend of the couple who described how Richard always supported his wife, especially as her health began to fail.

“He would try very hard to help her in a real kind of gentle way; he was very thoughtful of her,” Kay Brownlow told

Kay noticed Marlene was becoming forgetful. Richard too, she said, had recently gotten lost. “I think taking care of her got to be just an awful burden and maybe more then he was able to do anymore.”

Police arrived at the couple’s Virginia Beach home on Five Forks Road in January, to find Richard had attempted to take his own life; he had cut his throat. They found Marlene’s body on the floor covered with a blanket and covered in blood.

Kay said she will always believe that it was their decision to go together, a sort of mercy killing.

Court papers though reveal that Marlene suffered blunt force trauma and police found a frayed electrical cord in the bathtub, suggesting electrocution.

Kay has been unable to speak with Richard, who is being held at Eastern State Hospital.  

“I really hope that things turn out alright for him,” she said.

She wants him to get care and hopes he can avoid a trial. Most of all she misses her friends.

Richard Woltz’s competency review and preliminary hearing is set for October, giving time for his mental health to stabilize.

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