Man, 90, charged with murdering his wife

William David Martin, 90, of Moore, is charged with killing his wife, 85.

COLUMBIA -- A 90-year-old man has been charged with murder after authorities say he killed his wife with a hatchet following an argument, authorities said Tuesday.

Deputies arrested William David Martin at around 7:30 a.m. at his home in Moore, about 85 miles northwest of Columbia, after receiving a call about a domestic disturbance, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said.

Inside the home, deputies found 85-year-old Jeanette C. Martin lying on the floor of her bedroom. William Martin was sitting in the living room with his grandson, who had called 911.

Jeffrey Bulman, 46, had stopped by to check on his grandparents and took the hatchet from his grandfather before authorities arrived, deputies said.

Jeanette Martin was taken to a hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. William Martin was checked out at a hospital before he was booked into the Spartanburg County jail on a murder charge, authorities said.

Bond had not been set for Martin as of Tuesday afternoon, and it was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Brenda Hooker, a neighbor who lives down the street from the Martins' home, told a Spartanburg television station that she was alarmed to hear what authorities say happened at the home.

"I just am shocked," Hooker told the television station. "It would be as if my parents were in that position."

During a news conference Tuesday morning, Wright gave few details about a possible motive for the killing.

"The only thing I can say is, you probably need to pray for this family," Wright said. "It's very traumatic, what they're going through right now."

An autopsy for Jeanette Martin was scheduled later Tuesday. There was no answer at a telephone number listed for the couple's home.