Vancouver man, 73, accused of murdering wife

He allegedly shot her over financial dispute arising from planned divorce

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: November 14, 2012, 5:16 PM

 
photoVic and Nita Frye posed with a copy of The Columbian during a cruise around South America, including a stop on the Falkland Islands, and then sent it to us for publication in January 2010.

A 73-year-old Vancouver man made his first appearance Wednesday morning on suspicion of killing his wife.

Victor W. Frye allegedly shot his wife twice after learning she had her own plans for the couple’s money in light of their planned divorce, according to court documents. He was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree murder.

A judge set a no-bail hold Wednesday morning for Frye after prosecutors raised concerns over the defendant’s danger to the community.

“There was somewhat of a standoff with police” when officers responded to the home, Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino said. “He indicated he had firearms and would shoot it out” with police if he needed to.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Diane Woolard set a no-bail hold to be reviewed again at Frye’s next court hearing on Nov. 28. Defense attorney Gerry Wear was appointed to represent Frye.

According to court documents, Vancouver police were alerted to the shooting at about 8:40 p.m. Monday when the husband of Frye’s daughter called 911. The daughter was talking with her father and described him as “very distraught.”

They told a 911 dispatcher they thought Frye may have killed his 67-year-old wife, Nita Frye.

“They further added that Frye had been depressed as of late, and that he and his wife had been experiencing marital problems,” according to a probable cause affidavit signed by Vancouver police Detective John Ringo.

Officers responded to the home in a gated community at 3414 N.E. 83rd Ave., and found a woman lying in the bathroom covered with a blanket.

Frye was taken in for questioning by investigators. He admitted to shooting his wife of more than 20 years, according to court documents.

“They have over the past four or five years experienced marital discord to include their sleeping in different rooms, which has very recently culminated into their decision to separate and proceed to divorce,” the affidavit said.

Monday afternoon, Frye said he found his wife’s handwritten notes that indicated she had her own plans for the couple’s money after they divorced. Enraged, he said he waited for his wife to arrive home later that day and then confronted her with a handgun, according to court documents. Frye told her he was not going to divorce her, and a struggle ensued, police said.

That’s when, as he described to investigators, he pushed her to the floor in a bathroom and “snapped,” allegedly shooting her in the upper torso with a 9-mm handgun.

He covered Nita Frye with a blanket, gathered personal items, including the couple’s will and other financial items, and placed them in a box. Investigators said he then drove the box to his daughter’s house and dropped it on the front porch.

Victor Frye is a retired United States Postal Service employee, according to Columbian archives. He reported to a pre-trial release officer that he was suicidal prior to the shooting, and has a history of depression and alcohol abuse, according to court documents.