Israeli Man Suspected of Murdering Wife Placed in Isolation After Threatening Suicide

Lawyers of Giora Praff Perry, who allegedly shot and killed his wife Esti Ahronovitz, say he suffered from PTSD, but police say there's no indication Perry was a psychiatric patient in the past

Giora Praff Perry, who is suspected of killing his wife Esti Ahronovitz in their home in Moshav Talmei Eliyahu, southern Israel.

A doctor suspected of murdering his wife was placed Thursday in isolation in police custody after threatening to commit suicide, the police told a Be’er Sheva court on Thursday.

Giora Praff Perry, who allegedly shot and killed his wife Esti Ahronovitz on Sunday night in their home on Moshav Talmei Eliyahu, was not cooperating with the police, the police attorney told the Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court.

Perry, who fled in his car after the alleged murder, was arrested a short time later after his car overturned near the Ketziot Junction. He was hospitalized and discharged Tuesday after regaining consciousness.

Esti Ahronovitz

Perry’s lawyers said they had a psychiatric opinion from a few years ago stating that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and asked the judge to send the suspect to the district psychiatrist for a diagnosis. But the police attorney said there was no indication Perry had been a psychiatric patient in the past.

The judge ruled that there was no justification for ordering a psychiatric diagnosis for Perry at this time.

Perry’s lawyer said he wasn’t cooperating with the police because of his serious medical condition, but the judge pointed out that Perry had told police that he reserved the right to remain silent.

Perry was found with a licensed pistol and bullets in his car at the time of his arrest. He and his wife were in the process of getting a divorce.

A relative of Ahronovitz, who found her at home shot in the head, told Army Radio that the relationship between her and Perry was about to end, and “he wouldn’t accept it.”

Ahronovitz taught music in a local elementary school until she retired. Perry, said the relative, “seemed to be friendly, very interesting and intelligent,” but the relationship had reached its end – and “we saw a man who changed and his reactions were different,” she said.

Ahronovitz, 70, was a mother of four children from her previous marriage and grandmother of nine.