CARY: Woman describes 'snap reaction' prior to husband's death - WNCN: News, Weather

Cary woman describes 'snap reaction' prior to husband's death

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Dottie and Sharad Amtey Dottie and Sharad Amtey
CARY, N.C. -

A Cary woman jailed for a year for the death of her husband is out and sharing her side of the story, while documents released by her attorney question the extent of her role in his death.

Dottie Amtey was charged in the death of her ailing husband, Sharad, in Cary in May of 2013.

A 911 call from her son’s girlfriend described the final moments of a 42-year marriage.

“There's been a murder. Said she just choked her husband to death."

At the time the 61-year-old was charged with second degree murder in the death of her 77-year-old husband.

"Completely out of character for me. I've never touched him before in my life,” she told WNCN News by phone Saturday night.

She said her husband was very sick and there was family stress.

“I told them, I didn’t mean to hurt him. It was just a snap reaction,” she said.

Amtey admits to attacking for about a minute, but said it's too difficult to describe what actually happened.

“Even though I thought I killed him, I hadn't. I knew it right away as soon as the hysterics died down,” she said.

The medical examiner's report said it was a "natural death" but added assault likely contributed, meaning it could still be classified as a homicide.

Amtey's attorney sent WNCN a supplemental police report that said, "There were no obvious marks or bruising on Mr. Amtey`s neck."

It went on to state that the medical examiner did not feel strangulation caused Mr. Amtey's death.

The report quoted the medical examiner as saying, "Did he die during an assault? Yes. Did the assault cause his death? No."

It also quoted the examiner as saying Amtey would be guilty of an assault on her husband but not murdering him.

The police report quotes a doctor as saying the situation was a "perfect storm" that included strangulation, heart attack and health issues.

Amtey told WNCN News she deserved punishment for attacking her husband, but not for his death.

“The jail time for simple assault is one month, so I do believe I should have served one month."

Amtey spent about a year in jail, making an Alford plea guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

"I'm pleading guilty so that I can keep myself from going to prison, but I'm not admitting to guilt,” she said.

She was released May 16, but said that shouldn’t be confused with being set free.

“Yes, it's true I'm not in jail, but once you have a felony on your record, you're not set free. You're in the system."

She is staying with friends while she remains on 36 months of probation and tries to rebuild her life.

"I'm still grieving. I still have a long way to go in that recovery,” she said.

“It’s very hard for me. I feel terrible about it.”

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Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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