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Florida woman accused of trying to kill husband after he was sent postcard from woman he dated 60 years ago

Bertha Yalter (Miami-Dade County Jail)
Bertha Yalter (Miami-Dade County Jail)

A Florida woman has been accused of trying to kill her husband after he was sent a postcard from a woman he dated 60 years ago.

Bertha Yalter, 71, was arrested after police arrived on the scene in the Eastern Shores neighborhood of North Miami Beach to find her husband in an “extremely fragile” state and with “several serious bruises and open lacerations…as well as open bite marks that were bleeding,” according to an arrest report obtained by WTVJ.

The report added that police were responding to a call they received from a man who claimed his wife had tried to kill him at their home.

The man allegedly told officers the attack happened after he received a postcard from a woman he dated before marrying his wife in the 1960s.

It is unclear what the postcard said, however, the man said it greatly angered Ms Yalter, who tried to smother him with a pillow, police allege.

North Miami Beach Police Department said Ms Yalter and her husband had been married for nearly 52 years when the incident occurred.

Investigators said footage of at least some of the attack was captured on a cellular phone, which detectives viewed at the scene.

Police said the footage appeared to confirm the man’s account of the attack, while prosecutors later alleged that Ms Yalter had admitted to depriving her husband of his cell phone at some point.

She also allegedly confessed to committing the attack when interviewed by law enforcement, according to a police report obtained by Tampa-based Fox affiliate WTVT.

However, an attorney for Ms Yalter later denied claims of an assault.

“This is a couple who has been married for 51 years,” Ms Yalter’s attorney told Law&Crime. “The police overcharged this case in the extreme. Our client’s husband said he is perfectly fine. That he regrets the argument. And that he regrets what happened.”

They added that Ms Yalter’s husband was only taken to the hospital by the police because law enforcement insisted he go and that he was only there for around three hours because there was little hospital staff could do for him – due to the lack of severe injuries.

Ms Yalter was charged with one count each of attempted murder in the second degree, aggravated battery against an elderly person, and tampering with a witness or victim, according to court records. She was also ordered to have no contact with her husband.

The 71-year-old’s lawyer called the attempted murder charge “absurd.”

“I am very confident that we’re going to get this case resolved quickly and favourably,” they added.

Meanwhile, a public defender assigned to the case argued that the attempted murder charge should be downgraded to a domestic battery by way of strangulation charge.

“There is nothing indicating she was trying to kill him,” they argued.

However, prosecutors disagreed, arguing that the attempted smothering by a pillow covered attempted murder because “that would suffocate and kill him.”

“I think she also admitted to urinating on him,” the state’s attorney said. “So, I think if you look at the totality of the circumstances, this appears to be more than a domestic battery by strangulation.”

Ms Yalter has been ordered to remain in pretrial detention pending a final bond hearing, scheduled for 1 February.