August 21, 2018 07:36 PM
An Eden Prairie husband made his first court appearance Tuesday in connection with his wife's death.
Thomas Houck, 61, is charged with assisting in Linda Conrad's suicide.
Houck told police that the day before Conrad's death, he went to the store with her to buy a nitrogen tank and a regulator and helped her make a hood for it out of plastic, according to court documents.
Houck is now out on bail and made his first court appearance in Hennepin County on Tuesday.
The felony he faces is something the criminal complaint states Houck says happened at his wife's own request.
"If she wanted to do it, it doesn't make a difference under Minnesota law," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. "That's not legal in Minnesota. It's our job to enforce the law and that's what we did."
"Unfortunately it kept getting worse and, especially over the last few months, it got extremely bad," said Tim Conrad, Linda's ex-husband. He told 5 EYEWITNESS News he remained extremely close and had been friends with the couple throughout their relationship.
"Something changed where all the sudden she had no appetite anymore and her pain got more intense," he said. "Tom has just been the most loving, wonderful, supportive husband you can ever imagine. He's done everything for her throughout these 12 years of their marriage. To see him being charged with anything is just unbelievable."
Court documents say Houck told police, "he had not been completely forthcoming or truthful," when they first arrived at the couple's Eden Prairie home Thursday, following Houck's 911 call.
The criminal complaint states that Houck eventually, "confessed that he held the bag closed after (Conrad) put it over her head and continued to hold the bag as he turned on the nitrogen gas."
"It sounds like a confession to me and a confession doesn't help you persuade people of your innocence," said Freeman.
Houck later drove to a nearby store and disposed of some of the evidence, according to investigators.
Both he and his attorney declined to comment on Tuesday after the hearing.
Investigators say Linda lived with chronic pain but exactly what caused that pain and how she managed it is still a part of the investigation.
Court documents also say Houck told police he has helped his wife search for suicide methods before.
He is due back in court next month.
Updated: August 21, 2018 07:36 PM
Created: August 21, 2018 06:19 PM
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