The 86-year-old man accused of shooting and killing his wife made his first court appearance Tuesday, looking frail as he was wheeled to the video monitor in a wheelchair.
Lawrence Hubert Loeffler, arrested Monday, was arraigned on a single charge of murder.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that Loeffler called 911 to report that his wife of 39 years, 83-year-old Betty Jane Loeffler, was dead on the back porch of their home, on Old Mill Road outside the La Pine city limits.
When deputies arrived at the home, they found the woman dead of an apparent gunshot wound.
Loeffler appeared by video from the Deschutes County jail, where he’s being held without bail. Deputies at the jail asked that Loeffler be allowed to appear early because the battery pack on his oxygen tank was running out.
He was wheeled to the video monitor attached to a large oxygen tank and with a cane resting across his lap.
Jacques DeKalb was appointed as Loeffler’s attorney, and Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Jon Char asked that Loeffler be held without bail at the jail. Loeffler struggled to hear the proceedings, and did not show any emotion during the hearing, which lasted no more than three minutes.
Loeffler will next appear in court Friday after a grand jury issues an indictment. At that time, his defense attorney could argue that bail be set in the case, or that the man be released from custody.
Deschutes County chief deputy district attorney Mary Anderson said she could not comment on the case.
An autopsy on Betty Jane Loeffler has not yet been conducted, she said, but will be in the coming days.
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Bilyeu said a search warrant was served Monday and a search of the Old Mill Road property had been completed.
“At this point we’re wrapping up the investigation,” Bilyeu said. “Nothing has changed as far as the person in custody or the charges. That’s all status quo, but today we would just be tying up loose ends of the investigation.”