Doctor accused of killing wife dies in hospital

Dr. Henry Bailey, accused of suffocating his wife of 60 years in a "mercy killing," died Friday at Trinity Hospital.

Officers arrived at Bailey's west Augusta home July 16 and found that Gene Bailey, 84, had been suffocated with a plastic bag. Henry Bailey, also 84, was taken to the hospital after attempting suicide with medication.

An investigation found that the retired surgeon suffocated his wife to ease her suffering from advanced dementia, authorities said.

Bailey had served in the Navy for nearly three years and was a 1951 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, according to his obituary.

In 1958, he opened an Augusta office, where he practiced general surgery for 35 years. Certified by the American Board of Surgery, he became the chief of staff at University Hospital in 1967.

Authorities said that the couple's health had been steadily declining and that Gene Bailey could no longer walk or communicate.

Henry Bailey entered the Richmond County jail Aug. 8 and was given bond on condition that he stay at the Silver Linings Personal Care Home in Stapleton, Ga.

Superior Court Judge Carl Brown Jr. revoked his bond Aug. 10, however, after he left the facility without permission for a medical appointment and "engaged in activity other than at a doctor's office," according to court records.

Bailey was rearrested and immediately sent to Georgia Regional Hospital.

Brown ordered the facility to determine whether Bailey was competent to stand trial, his degree of criminal responsibility and whether he suffered from mental illness or retardation.

Bailey was later transferred to Medical College of Georgia Hospital because of his increasing medical issues, Capt. William Reeves said.

Several days later, Brown reinstated the bond and released Bailey, Reeves said.