85-year-old accused of killing wife dies

An 85-year-old Pacifica resident accused of stabbing his wife multiple times last year has died in custody and San Mateo County prosecutors are dismissing the charges against him Wednesday morning.

On July 13, Tony Gocksue Lee allegedly stabbed his 72-year-old wife of 54 years seven times: three times in the neck, twice in the abdomen, once in the thigh and once in the hand. Lee later told a family friend who was bringing dinner over that he’d killed his wife for bugging him, and not loving him any more, according to prosecutors.

When police arrived at their Pacifica home, Lee reportedly told them he’d killed his wife. She was rushed to the hospital after being found bleeding out on the dining room floor and survived the attack, prosecutors said.

Lee had been charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with an enhancement for great bodily injury and related charges stemming from the incident. Prosecutors are filing a motion to dismiss those charges today.

Defense attorney Paul Cummins said:

“It’s the first time I’ve had a person die in custody. He expired several days ago … I think he’ll be buried this weekend.”

On Feb. 4, Cummins said his client was in intensive care after falling down in jail and suffering a traumatic brain injury. As a result of the injury Lee was unresponsive, according to Cummins. At that time, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Lee’s doctors had given him a terminal diagnosis, and expected him to die within 10 days.