Ronald Charles Strouse, 73, was arrested in Lake Wales, Florida on Tuesday
A Florida man has been charged with the first-degree murder of his wife of 50 years.
Ronald Charles Strouse, 73, was arrested on Tuesday in his Lake Wales home after allegedly confessing to strangling to death his 72-year-old wife Susan Strouse.
‘This was a particularly brutal murder,’ said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in a statement. ‘We aren’t sure why Ronald Strouse murdered his wife of 50 years, but one thing we are sure of is that he will be held accountable for his actions.’
Police say that Ronald called 911 at about 4.30pm on Tuesday, explaining that he had been in an altercation with his wife, and that she was dead.
When deputies arrived, Ronald was sitting on the porch, and his wife was lying dead in the living room.
Ronald went on to describe the circumstances that led to his wife’s death, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Susan Strouse (above) told her husband of 50 years that she wanted to take all of their money and leave him, he told police. Ronald allegedly admitted strangling her in response
According to the affidavit, Ronald said that on Monday night, his wife declared that she wanted to leave him, take all their money, and move out of their home.
He said that he argued with Susan, pleading for an explanation, but said that she would not tell him why she wanted to leave.
Things simmered in the home until the next morning, Tuesday, when Susan got up and made them both sausage sandwiches for lunch around noon.
Ronald told police that he could not work up an appetite, and declined to eat the sausage sandwich.
After lunch, Susan was lying on the couch watching TV when Ronald confronted her, demanding to know why she wanted to leave him, according to the affidavit.
Ronald told cops that Susan refused to answer him as she watched her TV show, which frustrated him.
He said that he grabbed her on the couch and pulled her to the floor, and straddled her body as his fingers wrapped around her neck, according to the affidavit.
Cops say that Ronald admitted he knew what he was doing as his hands tightened in a vise-like grip around his wife’s neck – knew that he was choking the very life out of her.
Susan struggled, clawing at his hands and arms in a desperate bid to escape, until finally she went limp, according to the affidavit.
Deputies found Ronald Strouse waiting on the front porch of his home (above) after he called 911 and said that his wife was dead after an altercation in their living room
The grim deed complete, Ronald got up, called 911, and waited on his porch to surrender to deputies, the affidavit states.
Police found Susan dead inside with severe bruising to her arms, neck and face, consistent with with a struggle and battery.
‘The defendant made a conscious decision with a premeditated design to choke and strike the victim with his hands until she was deceased,’ detectives stated in the affidavit.
Ronald said that his wife never explained why she wanted to leave him.
It appears that they had recently moved into their home, a new two-bedroom which records show they purchased for $127,900.
Ronald Strouse is being held without bail on a charge of first-degree murder in the Polk County Jail.
He is due in court for arraignment on July 16. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.