Criminal Complaint: Dakota man facing 40 years in prison for reportedly killing wife with dementia

The complaint also stated that Wright "could not take it anymore" and "could not watch her suffer."
Joseph Wright
Joseph Wright

DAKOTA, Minn. (WKBT) – A Dakota man is facing a 2nd-degree murder charge in the death of his wife.

On Friday, July 10, Joseph Bailly Wright, 79, called 911, gave an address near Dakota and told dispatch that he killed his wife due to “too many problems”, then hung up the phone, according to a criminal complaint.

Authorities responded to the address given and spoke to the landlord, who confirmed that Wright and his wife lived in the lower level of the home. Officers were also told that the victim had dementia.

Dispatch contacted wright again when he revealed that he tried to commit suicide and “tried to slit his wrists”. He also told authorities that he stabbed his wife in the abdominal area two times.

Law enforcement did locate the victim inside the residence with an apparent stab wound.

The complaint also stated that Wright “could not take it anymore” and “could not watch her suffer.”

If convicted, Wright could face up to 40 years in prison, according to the complaint.

The complaint also stated Wright caused the death with intent, but without premeditation.


A Winona Co. judge has signed an arrest warrant for 2nd Degree Murder for a man accused of killing his wife Friday in Dakota.

Winona Co. Sheriff Ron Ganrude says the incident is being investigated as a domestic homicide.


The Winona County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating a woman’s death in Dakota.

The Winona Co. 911 call center received a cell phone call at 10:54 a.m. Friday in which the caller stated “I killed my wife,” and then the line went dead.

Authorities were able to trace the caller’s location.

Once they arrived at the location in Dakota, they found a man with non-life threatening injuries. He was taken by Tri-State Ambulance to a local hospital.

They also found the body of a 72-year-old woman.

Winona Co. Sheriff Ron Ganrude says there is not believed to be any threat to the public.

The investigation is ongoing.


Tri-State Ambulance, Dakota Fire & Rescue, and Winona County Sheriff’s Department responded to an unknown incident late Friday morning near the Dakota Fire & Rescue building in Dakota.

News 8 Now has a crew at the scene.

No other information is available at this time.

This is a developing story. We will update as we get more information.