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A man tried to kill his wife with a wrench, police say. Her daughter put a bullet in his spine.

Henry Frank Herbig (Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office)
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A Florida man ended up paralyzed when his plot to kill his estranged wife in Virginia Beach went awry this month, authorities say.

Police responded to a call about a gunshot on the night of Sept. 8 and found two women suffering from blunt-force-trauma injuries and a male suspect with a gunshot wound, according to the city of Virginia Beach. All three were treated at hospitals, where one woman had injuries that were not life-threatening and the other woman and the man had more serious injuries.

The man was 65-year-old Henry Frank Herbig. The two women were his estranged wife and her daughter.

Herbig was charged with aggravated malicious wounding and breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony, according to the city of Virginia Beach.

The retired Navy captain drove from his Florida home to kill his wife of 10 years, who had filed for divorce over the summer, officials said, according to the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. She moved to Virginia Beach to live with her daughter, and that’s where Herbig attempted to execute his plan, authorities said.

Herbig is accused of breaking into his stepdaughter’s home and assaulting her and his wife with a large wrench. Authorities say he attacked his stepdaughter first when she let her dog out into the backyard, according to WTKR. He forced his way into the house, where he attacked his wife with a wrench, prosecutors say.

His stepdaughter then shot him, prosecutors said, severing his spine and paralyzing Herbig. She was found to be acting in self-defense.

Herbig, prosecutors said, was acting out an elaborate plot to kill his wife and to cover his tracks in the process.

Investigators say Herbig had a list in his car detailing a plot to kill his wife, WTKR reported. He had the idea to use several cars and bring cans of gas to bypass having to buy fuel, authorities alleged. To avoid being tracked, he had multiple cellphones and abstained from using credit cards, they said. Disguises, garbage bags and zip ties, as well as weapons such as a wooden baton and firearm, were also found, authorities said.

Herbig, with a brace around his neck, appeared in court via Skype for his bond hearing Wednesday because his physical state made him unable to be transferred from the Virginia Beach City Jail, according to WTKR.

Herbig’s attorney expressed concern for his care and asked the judge to have him released on bond. Herbig’s inability to make a fist and the likelihood that he might never walk again didn’t convince prosecutors. His wealth and his access to pilots and various homes make him a flight risk and a risk to the community, prosecutors argued, according to WTKR.

The decorated 30-year Navy veteran is unable to move below the waist, doesn’t have full range of motion in his arms and lacks the capability to feed himself, said a doctor in charge of the jail’s infirmary. More staff will be needed to care for Herbig if he stays there, he said, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Judge Cheshire Eveleigh denied the bond request but said she would be open to hearing the defense at a later date if it can find a treatment facility for Herbig, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

If Herbig is convicted, he faces up to life in prison and $200,000 in fines.

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