BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man on Thursday pleaded no contest to murder in the grisly slaying of his wife at their northwest Bakersfield home, according to Superior Court records.

John Gardner, 66, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the death of Jane Gardner, records show.

Police were called Dec. 6, 2020, to the Gardner home on Vaquero Drive, near Discovery Elementary School. They forced open the door and found the body of Jane Gardner, 58, on the floor with severe head trauma. John Gardner was lying nearby with a cut to his wrist, according to court documents.

John Gardner said he bludgeoned his wife with a hammer then slashed his wrist and had expected to die, too, documents said.

Jane Gardner worked at Cal State Bakersfield as an analyst in the grants department. John Gardner used to be a laboratory technician at Kern Medical but was on disability retirement because of a shoulder injury, according to the documents.