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Prescott man charged with reckless homicide in wife's death

A Prescott man made a first appearance in Pierce County Circuit Court Wednesday on a charge of first degree reckless homicide -- a day after authorities found his wife dead in the home they shared.

Robert J. Whaley, 60, was a charged a day after he allegedly bought a large dose of a prescription drug from someone in Prescott. He administered half to his wife and took half himself. Moments later, she lost consciousness and went unresponsive.

The charge alleges that caused the death of his wife, Emilie Jeanne Whaley, 59, by administering, a Schedule I or II controlled substance, methadone, without lawful authority.

A $25,000 signature bond was set after Wednesday’s hearing. His next court appearance is a preliminary hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Monday, August 12.

The criminal complaint alleges that around 4:10 a.m., July 2, Prescott police and EMS were called to 1500 River Terrace St. where a woman was unresponsive.

Police arrived and began administering CPR to the woman, later identified as Emilie. They asked Robert, who made the call, if she had any medical conditions or was prescribed any medications to which Robert said “no”. Robert did tell police he gave her methadone, about 50 milligrams and he took the other half.

EMS then arrived along with the River Falls Paramedic. After nearly 40 minutes of CPR, the woman was pronounced dead..

Robert told the Pierce County Medical Examiner his wife “was pretty much out as soon as we took that crap” and that she fell asleep on the couch.

Police stated Whaley was upset and crying and appeared remorseful and sad at the loss of his wife.

Robert told a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy he purchased the methadone “from a subject in town”, but did not say who it was. He said after administering her the drug, she was breathing, but wouldn’t respond to his voice. He also tried several times to wake her, but couldn’t, which led him to call 911.

Robert was taken to the Prescott Police Department to be further interviewed around 7:30 a.m.. He was eventually transported to the Pierce County Jail, where he was booked in around 11:30 a.m.

The charge is a Class C felony, which carries a maximum penalty of $100,000 and/or 40 years prison, if found guilty.

A medical dictionary states that methadone is a opioid pain reliever, similar to morphine. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. It also reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs without causing the "high" associated with the drug addiction.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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