BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman accused of killing her roommate at a retirement home told police the two made a suicide pact after suffering injuries in a car crash, according to court documents.
“She asked me to do it, and I did,” Sandra Bonertz told police after the body of 83-year-old Winnie Smith was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the room they shared at Pinewood Glen Retirement Community.
Bonertz, 76, is charged with first-degree murder.
Documents filed by Bakersfield police say Bonertz made spontaneous statements to police after a caregiver discovered Smith’s body the morning of July 11 on the floor of their room.
“It’s very important that the manager gets the envelope on the countertop,” she told a sergeant. “It has sensitive information, this was a suicide pact. She asked me to do it. And she was not getting any better, neither of us were.”
Bonertz said she and Smith had been in a car accident and suffered broken bones, according to the documents.
Another resident, who described herself as Smith’s best friend, told police Smith severely hurt an ankle in the crash and needed assistance getting in her wheelchair. The resident said Smith was unhappy with her doctors and had been depressed.
A manager at the independent living facility told police she noticed a change in Bonertz’s behavior. She said Bonertz and Smith used to be together all the time, but recently Bonertz stayed in her room, was “high strung” and may have been frustrated with Smith, according to the documents.
Smith was confined to a wheelchair as a result of the injuries she suffered in the crash, the manager told police.
Police found a revolver underneath a comforter on Bonertz’s bed, the filings say. It contained five rounds of .38 caliber ammunition, three of which were spent.
The gun, purchased in 2010, was registered to Bonertz, police said.
Smith was shot three times in the chest, according to the documents.
The manager told police staff were not allowed to go through dresser drawers or other private areas in residents’ rooms. She said they wouldn’t know if weapons were concealed.
Bonertz is due back in court next month. She’s held without bail.