Slain woman tried suicide, attorney says

Kay Woods, an 80-year-old Las Vegas woman who lived with chronic pain and illness for more than a decade, tried to kill herself twice before she was slain by her husband on Sept. 24, an attorney said Monday.

Joseph Woods, the 86-year-old slaying suspect, sat in a wheelchair and appeared frail and quiet during his first hearing at the Regional Justice Center.

He is recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound suffered in what police describe as a murder-attempted suicide.

The husband and wife were found in bed at their home at 1808 S. 10th St., near St. Louis Avenue and Maryland Parkway. Kay Woods died at the scene. She was killed by a shot fired through a towel and into her upper shoulder, police said.

Joseph Woods shot himself in the abdomen. He was booked in absentia at the Clark County Detention Center on a count of murder with a deadly weapon.

Woods was released from University Medical Center Friday and transferred to the detention center, where he is being held without bail.

Deputy Public Defender Dan Silverstein requested bail for Joseph Woods, arguing the man could be cared for at home with help from his three children, who live in Las Vegas. Silverstein said Joseph Woods isn't receiving the medical treatment he needs.

"This isn't your typical murder case," Silverstein said. "He's not going to make it in custody."

A bail hearing for Woods was set for Thursday.

Silverstein told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Nancy Oesterle that Woods was in a great deal of pain from his gunshot wound and that a generic medication he had been given for digestive issues was agitating him.

Silverstein added that both Joseph and Kay Woods had been taking multiple prescription medications and had heath issues.

Joseph Woods, a 30-year military veteran who served in three wars, was diagnosed recently with an aneurysm near his heart. The couple's adult children, including live-in son Paul Woods, were caring for them, Silverstein said.

Two of them were at their parents' home about 6 a.m. the day of the shootings.

Kay Woods recently had surgery for a pinched nerve in her neck, a family member said last week.

Silverstein said Kay Woods had tried to slit her wrists and overdose on sleeping pills two days before the murder-attempted suicide.

"The victim had tried to kill herself," Silverstein said.

A note written by Kay Woods was found at the scene. It said: "Sorry, please forgive us, take care of Lilly, Ma and Pa."

The name mentioned in the note might be that of the couple's dog. Family members said they liked Pomeranian dogs.

While in court Monday, Joseph Woods was unable to stand up when called. His face was pale and stubbled. He spoke softly when asked whether he understood the charge against him.

"This guy is not a flight risk," Silverstein said. "He can barely move. He's got serious medical problems."

Contact reporter Maggie Lillis at or 702-383-0279.