Woman killed husband in hospital bed, Daytona Beach police say

Wife arrested murder, charged with 2nd-degree murder

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A Palm Coast woman is charged with second-degree murder after police said she killed her husband in his hospital bed at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center.

Daytona Beach police said 62-year-old Jan Sochalski stuck by her husband's bedside from April 7 until his death on May 19. Police arrested her on Monday.

"He just went in there for back surgery and he was not expected to succumb to those injuries," said Jimmie Flynt, of Daytona Beach Police Department.

Sochalski, a retired nurse who practiced for more than 40 years is the prime suspect. An arrest report showed her husband, Henry, was hooked up to a pain-medication machine when Jan Sochalski pressed the button 264 times in an eight hour period. Police said the button should have only been pressed six times an hour.

"She was asking for medication that would hinder his breathing instead of helping his breathing," said Flynt.

Investigators also said a nurse saw what appeared as if Sochalski was pinching the victim's nose.

"The gentleman had a trach (tube) and so you don't lie a trach patient flat. His bed was flat, (and) she was laying on top of him," said Flynt.

Police said Henry Sochalski suffocated.

Jan Sochalski is at the Volusia County Jail without bond, and investigators say her charges could be upgraded to premeditated murder once they're done investigating.

Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center released the following statement:
"The safety of our patients, employees and visitors is of utmost importance at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center. We have a dedicated team that devotes significant resources to develop programs to ensure everyone remains safeguarded.

"Due to federal privacy laws and the sensitive nature of this incident, we are unable to discuss this matter further. We are actively supporting the Daytona Beach Police Department with their investigation and all questions should be directed to their office."

The judge ended up setting her bond at $250,000. Public Defender Matt Phillips felt that was too high and doesn't agree with the charge made against her.

"This is an extremely unusual case and I can say that Ms. Sochalski is going to be disputing the opinion of the police investigators in this case, and will be defending this case every step of the way," he said.


About the Authors:

Loren Korn is a native Texan who joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2014. She was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism.