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Police: Cheektowaga man, 88, admitted hammer attack on wife at nursing home

An 88-year-old man faces an attempted-murder charge after authorities said he hit his wife in the head with hammer in a Cheektowaga nursing home on Saturday.

After the attack, Martin Turkiewicz walked to the front desk of Garden Gate Health Care Facility on Union Road and reported what happened, Cheektowaga police said.

Rita Turkiewicz, 86, suffered severe head injuries and was being treated at Erie County Medical Center, authorities said. The Cheektowaga couple has been married 60 years, according to police.

Husband, 88, accused in hammer attack against the wife he put 'first before anything else'

Martin Turkiewicz was charged with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault, the Erie County District Attorney's Office said.

The attack was described as "a domestic incident" by the McGuire Group, which operates Garden Gate and issued a statement Monday. The victim, who the McGuire Group did not identify by name, was a resident at the facility. Martin Turkiewicz was not a resident at Garden Gate.

Martin Turkiewicz pleaded not guilty in Cheektowaga Town Court and was ordered held without bail by Town Justice Paul S. Piotrowski. He is being held in the Erie County Holding Center is scheduled to be back in court Wednesday morning.

The case is being prosecuted by Homicide Bureau Chief Colleen Curtin Gable, the district attorney's office said. District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. commended the work of Cheektowaga Police Lt. Kenneth Rusin, Detective Terance Griffin and Detective James Jenson on the case.

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