A 42-year-old Pasadena man was found dead of a gunshot wound in the bedroom of his Clearview Village home yesterday morning, and police charged his wife with first-degree murder.
Debra Marie Young, 32, was charged about 10 hours after she called police to report finding her husband's body in the couple's home in the first block of Margaret Ave.
Mrs. Young told officers that she found the body of her husband, Henry William Young, after she returned from a laundromat at 10:30 a.m. with the couple's three young children. She told investigators that when she left the house, her husband was asleep in bed and someone must have come in the house and shot him while she was gone, charging documents said.
According to charging documents, Mrs. Young told witnesses four days ago that she wanted to hire someone to kill her husband, and if she couldn't find anyone, she would have to do it herself.
The documents said Mrs. Young needed money from her husband's insurance policy because she was behind in her house payments.
She was charged after police questioned her for several hours at the Eastern District police station.
While searching the home, investigators found a handgun believed to have been used in the shooting, said Lt. Michael McNelly, head of the Crimes Against Persons Section. The charging documents said Mr. Young was asleep when he was shot several times.
Mrs. Young was being held in the county detention center without bail. She was to have a formal bail review hearing in front of a District Court judge today.
Police said Mr. Young's body was lying partially on the bed and partially on the floor in a pool of blood.
"There was quite a bit of blood in the house," said Sgt. Bob Jaschik, supervisor of the homicide unit.
Lieutenant McNelly said the couple's children -- a 5-year-old boy and two girls, ages 4 and 7 months -- were not in the house at the time of the shooting. They were being cared for last night by Mrs. Young's parents, police said.
Neighbors said Mr. Young, a National Security Agency employee, was an avid hunter and gun buff who kept firearms in his home.
One neighbor and her daughter, who asked not to be identified, said they heard a single gunshot at 10:15 a.m. but thought nothing of it because hunters often use the area woods for target practice.
Several residents, suspecting that Mr. Young accidentally shot himself while cleaning a gun, were surprised to learn police were treating his death as a homicide. "We've never had anything like that around here," said one woman.
Pat Shreve, 21, a next-door neighbor, said she was awakened yesterday by a gunshot and thought a car had backfired.
"It's shocking, but I don't know what happened," she said.
Beth Adams, 18, whose family lives down the street from the Youngs, recalled that Mr. Young, a heavy-set man, used to hunt rabbits, skin them in his back yard and hang them on the clothesline, until the community association complained.