Edmond man arrested in wife's overdose death
EDMOND — A Mercy Clinic employee who told police, “I let my wife pass away,” is in custody on a murder complaint.
Edmond police arrested Caleb Copeland, 35, Thursday morning in the death of Kimberly Copeland, 36. Kimberly Copeland died Oct. 23 in an overdose of amitriptyline, an antidepressant and sleep aid.
Detectives said in Copeland’s arrest warrant that he gave his wife a lethal dose of the medication. He monitored as her breathing slowed and her blood pressure dropped, and he delayed calling for medical attention, according to the warrant.
“I wanted to make sure she would be in cardiac arrest before I called 911,” Copeland told police.
Kimberly Copeland’s heart had stopped beating by the time emergency responders arrived at the family’s home, and they were unable to resuscitate her. Police found Copeland waited 15 to 20 minutes after she stopped breathing before he called 911, according to the warrant.
Copeland told police at the scene his wife had consumed an entire box of Franzia wine and passed out, though officers later found the box at least half full, police reported. He later changed his statement and said “she took a lot of pills tonight,” according to the warrant.
He claimed to have checked her vital signs at 1 a.m. with a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope, police said. Her blood pressure had dropped, and her pulse slowed.
Copeland is a medically trained employee of Mercy Clinic Primary Care and told police he recognized she was approaching cardiac arrest, detectives reported. However, he didn’t call 911 until 1:41 a.m.
“I should have called when I saw her vitals were not great, but I didn’t because I was upset,” he said to police, according to the warrant. “I was upset and delayed calling 911.”
Copeland told detectives he had set out a bottle of 30 amitriptyline pills for her, according to the warrant. He admitted he knew consuming a full bottle would result in death, and she wouldn’t have taken them if he hadn’t presented the pills to her, detectives reported.
Mercy spokeswoman Meredith Huggins said Copeland has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.
“Mercy is cooperating with the Edmond Police Department following the arrest of a Mercy Clinic co-worker,” Huggins said.