Posted on Fri, Jun. 06, 2008
Doctor gets 3 years in prison for shooting wife
By Kurt Knapek – firstname.lastname@example.org CONWAY —
A retired doctor was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to killing his wife in 2006.
Jorge Hernandez, 55, of Loris, pleaded guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter after shooting his wife, Lisa, four times with a 9 mm handgun on Oct. 27, 2006, at their home on Liberty Church Road.
"An anesthesiologist who saves lives decides to take one," said Jason Bullington, Lisa's son. "I don't know this man anymore."
Judge Michael Nettles called Thursday's hearing, the "most painful plea I've ever witnessed" because of the forgiveness shown from the victim's side of the family.
Hernandez found his wife having sex with another man in a barn at their property less than an hour before the slaying, according to 15th Judicial Circuit Assistant Solicitor James Battle.
"I went to speak to Lisa and I asked 'How could you do this to me?'" Hernandez said. "She just put her hands on her hips and she said 'So what.' I know I shot her four times, but I don't remember shooting her."
Jorge Hernandez called 911 following the shooting and told a dispatcher that he shot his wife, Battle said.
Before he shot his wife, Hernandez said he told her, '"You're dead to me.' I thought my marriage was over at that point."
Hernandez said he tried to commit suicide following the shooting. "I couldn't do it," he said.
"I have never denied what I have done," Hernandez said. "I truly loved Lisa. I lost it that night. I don't have a word for it. What I did was horrible. I hurt so many people."
The man his wife was having the affair with was supplying her with drugs, Hernandez said. Lisa Hernandez was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the shooting, Battle said.
Wilfred Alexander Perez, Lisa's brother, read a brief statement in which Lisa's mother said she forgave Hernandez.
Jorge Hernandez retired in 2005 after suffering heart problems and was on medication for depression at the time of the shooting, said defense attorney Morgan Martin.
"Jorge is in a very fragile health condition," Martin said. "His heart is very diseased and very damaged. A lengthy prison sentence might be a life sentence."
The Hernandezes were building a new home in Loris at the time, Martin said.
"Lisa was a special lady," said Gary Butler, a neighbor. "She was a joy to be around. I believe [Jorge's] remorse to be genuine and heartfelt. I do not see him as a threat to society. But you cannot undo what has been done."
First reported at MyrtleBeachOnline.com at 4:34 p.m. Thursday.