Eden Prairie man charged with assisting wife's suicide


An Eden Prairie man was charged with aiding suicide in the death of his wife, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Thomas James Houck, 61, is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday on the single felony count of aiding a suicide. The county attorney’s office will be seeking bail of $70,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Houck called 911 about 2:20 a.m. Thursday, telling the dispatcher he awoke in the middle of the night to find his wife had “euthanized herself.” He added that his wife used nitrogen and was lying on her back in the bed with a plastic bag over her head.

When Eden Prairie police arrived, they found the woman was dead and a handwritten note was nearby, saying she could not endure anymore pain, the complaint states.

Houck told police several different versions of what happened, starting with waking up to go to the bathroom and finding his wife dead, to admitting he went to the store with her to buy the nitrogen and a regulator, but nothing more, according to the  complaint

Eventually, Houck admitted he was with his wife when she put the bag over her head and he turned on the nitrogen gas and he held the bag closed. He later drove to a nearby store and dumped the gloves he was wearing into a dumpster, the complaint states.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)