Mother evades murder charge

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The Independent Online
A MOTHER who shot and paralysed her daughter will not be charged with murder, even though her daughter died after winning the right to be taken off a life support machine, US officials said yesterday.

Shirley Egan, 68, who has emphysema and is blind in one eye, is accused of shooting her 42-year-old daughter in March after overhearing her discuss putting her in a nursing home.

She was charged with attempted murder, but after her daughter, Georgette Smith, died on 19 May when taken off life support at her own request, prosecutors were left to decide whether to upgrade the charge against Ms Egan to murder.

However, Ms Egan's "deteriorating health and her relationship to the victim, do not ... provide an appropriate circumstance for me to exercise my discretion by charging murder in this case," Florida's state attorney Lawson Lamar said.

Ms Smith, paralysed from the neck down, had to go to court to get permission to be taken off a ventilator. The bullet that struck Ms Smith in the neck tore through her spinal cord. Ms Egan supported her daughter's decision to be taken off life support, but her attorney attorney, Bob Wesley, fought it to avoid the murder charge. MrWesley, said Ms Egan didn't mean to shoot her daughter and didn't want to see her suffer.