for immediate release
February 1, 2001

N E W S   R E L E A S E

An 80 year old Okaloosa County resident has been arrested in connection with the death of his wife. Earle Judson "Jud" Wheeler, Jr. (8-30-20), of 900 Bay Drive, Unit 56, Niceville was arrested at the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office in Shalimar on an open count of Murder this afternoon (Thursday afternoon).

Wheeler called law enforcement to his residence yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, saying he had killed his wife the previous day. The call came after neighbors came to call, concerned the couple had not collected their newspaper and mail.

Responding Deputies discovered 78 year old Patricia Wheeler dead in bed, with a knife wound to the throat. Earle Wheeler, who voluntarily met Deputies at the door, was bloody from an apparently self-inflicted knife wound to the neck. He was transported to Twin Cities Hospital by Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services, and arrested after his release from the hospital today.

Evidence collection continues at the scene; an autopsy is planned late this afternoon. It is believed 24 hours or more had passed from the time of Mrs. Wheeler's death before authorities became aware of the incident.


for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420