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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — A man accused of helping his terminally ill wife kill herself last year was a loving husband whose spouse was “suffering terribly” from cancer, his lawyer said Friday after a brief court appearance.

Kevin Conners, of Westbrook, was arraigned on a manslaughter charge in Middletown Superior Court. He was arrested Thursday and posted $50,000 bail.

The 65-year-old retired prison guard initially told police he had been woken up by the sound of a gunshot, but later admitted he helped 61-year-old Lori Conners hold a gun to her head while she pulled the trigger in their bed on Sept. 6, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Conners said he couldn’t watch his wife suffer any more, the affidavit says.

Conners’ attorney, Raymond Rigat, said Friday that his client is holding himself accountable for his actions.

“Kevin Conners is a kind, compassionate, loving father, grandfather, husband of 42 years,” Rigat said outside of the courthouse. “Last year his wife was diagnosed and struggling with a terminal late stage cancer that was very aggressive. She was suffering horribly, going through chemotherapy and in considerable pain.

“She decided and took actions to escape that pain,” Rigat said. “Mr. Conners did what any loving husband would do.”

Kevin Conners and his children told police that Lori Conners told them she wanted to die, the affidavit says.

Assisted suicide is not legal in Connecticut. Lawmakers over the years have submitted, but never approved, several bills that would have legalized assisted suicide, including legislation proposed but not passed this year.