Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 84-year-old James Wheeler on Wednesday, September 17, on charges on trying to murder his wife and commit suicide. He is being held in Santa Barbara County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Deputies arrived on September 17 at a residence on the 4700 block of Third Street, where they noted a running vehicle in the driveway with a hose attached to its tailpipe and leading into the home. The deputies entered the home and removed both a man and woman inside. According to a report from Sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Alex Tipolt, they determined that the man, Wheeler, had being attempting to use the fumes to kill himself and his wife. Wheeler was arrested. Both he and his wife were then transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Wheeler was released from Cottage into sheriff’s custody. On Tuesday, September 22, Judge George Eskin set Wheeler’s bail at $100,000. Wheeler’s wife is currently in a care facility
NOTE: This is an updated version of the story that originally ran online.