Noel Lavery called 911 shortly after smothering his wife with a pillow and told the dispatcher he just murdered his wife.

The 83-year-old Edmonton man is on trial for the second-degree murder of Sherry Lavery, 50, in September 2006. 

The 911 call was played on the second day of the trial Tuesday.

'I'm her sole and only caregiver and I told her that I just couldn't do this anymore.' —Noel Lavery

Lavery made the call from his home while sitting on the bed next to his wife's body, and as his son-in-law performed CPR.

The 10-minute recording began with Lavery, then 78, saying to the 911 operator: "Hi, I've just smothered my wife."

'I've just smothered my wife' 

He is then transferred to a dispatch officer and again calmly said, "I have just smothered my wife. My name is Noel Lavery."

Lavery bristled when the officer asks him for his personal information such as his birthdate.

"What the hell does that got to do with the fact I just murdered my wife," Lavery said.

A short time later the officer asked, "Is your wife still breathing?"

"No," replied Lavery. "I put a pillow on her face and held it there until she stopped."

When asked if his wife's death was mutual decision, Lavery responded: "We talked about it. 

"She told me she could not give me any promise of cure for her alcoholism," he said. "I'm her sole and only caregiver and I told her that I just couldn't do this anymore."

Lavery then described what happened next.

"I put a pillow over her face. She didn't feel any pain because she was chronically alcoholic and drunk. And I held it...and I held it...and I held it...until I called you."

The defense is trying to show that the act was an assisted suicide, that Sherry Lavery wanted to die. The Crown believes Lavery simply murdered his wife.

Lavery's lawyer Peter Royal is now questioning whether Sherry Lavery was actually smothered.

Assistant Chief Medical Examiner Bernard Bannach testified that she was.

But Royal pointed out that at the time of her death, Lavery had enough alcohol in her blood to kill some people. She also had taken a high dose of anti-depressant medication.

Bannach agreed with Royal during cross-examination that this combination of drugs and alcohol could have killed her.