Man gets house arrest for assisted suicide in wife’s death

Philip M. Benight (submitted)

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lancaster County man will serve up to 23 months of house arrest for assisting in his wife’s death with a prescription drug overdose.

Philip M. Benight, 61, of Conestoga, was sentenced Monday in Lancaster County Court to 6-23 months home confinement with electronic monitoring, followed by three years of probation, according to court records.

He pleaded guilty in August to aiding suicide, a second-degree felony.

Authorities say Benight signed his 72-year-old wife, a dementia patient, out of Manor Care Health Services on Jan. 22 and drove her to their home where he spoon-fed her pudding mixed with Oxycodone, Percocet, and Valium before taking the pills himself.

Both were found unconscious and revived. Rebecca Benight died at a hospital eight days later.

According to charging documents, Philip Benight left a handwritten note that said insurance companies and the care home were “killing” them. He also typed a letter in which he stated he would have to kill his wife and then himself to stay out of prison.

The district attorney’s office has said his wife made multiple statements about not wanting to live in her condition.

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