O.C. woman accused of helping WWII veteran commit suicide
A Laguna Woods woman was arrested on suspicion of helping an 86-year-old WWII veteran commit suicide by mixing drugs into his yogurt, authorities said.
Elizabeth Barrett, 66, has been charged with one felony count of assisted suicide and faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison, the Orange County district attorney’s office announced Wednesday.
Prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh said Barrett was an “acquaintance” of Jack Koency, who was not terminally ill but had previously suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Prosecutors say Barrett drove Koency to the Neptune Society last September so he could make his funeral arraignments, then proceeded to a local store where she bought him yogurt and a bottle of brandy.
“In California, it’s a felony to help someone kill themselves,” Baytieh said. “He wanted to end his life, and she was happy to help him.”
Prosecutors also accuse Barrett of stealing Koency’s WWII medals after his death and waiting before calling police. They say they have evidence stored on a motion-activated camera in Koency’s apartment.
Barrett is being held on $25,000 bail. Her arraignment date has yet to be determined.
-- Matt Stevens
Photo: Elizabeth Barrett. Credit: KTLA-TV