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UPDATE: Former assemblyman pleads not guilty to helping wife's suicide

Court documents suggest delay after wife's suicide

PALM DESERT, Calif. - UPDATE 12/6/17 9:00 a.m.:

Former state assemblyman Steve Clute pleaded not guilty to a charge of assisted suicide in Indio court Wednesday morning. Our cameras were in the courtroom as Clute made his plea.

When approached by our crew as he was entering the courthouse, Clute declined to give any comment.

Clute was released on his own recognizance but not after the prosecution asked for $5000 bail. Clute's attorney argued he wasn't a flight risk and cited his service as a politician and educational background on grounds for no bail. The judge granted the defense's request on the condition Clute did not possess a firearm, follow all laws, and made his appearances in court.

He’s due to return to court on Jan. 26 for a felony settlement conference.

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ORIGINAL:

New information was released Tuesday regarding the charge that Steve Clute, a former California assemblyman is facing for allegedly helping his wife commit suicide last year.

At around 5:54 a.m. Aug. 21, 2016, deputies from the Palm Desert Station were dispatched to Harrison Drive in Palm Desert regarding a possible suicide.

Steve Clute is said to have made the call to authorities, saying that he found his wife, Pamela Clute with a gunshot wound and that she was not breathing. He told the dispatcher that Pamela suffered from severe pain and wanted to end her life, according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant for the former assemblyman.

Read: Former assemblyman accused of helping wife commit suicide

Pamela Clute was found with a single gunshot wound to the head and a revolver was found next to her body.

Steve Clute told deputies that Pamela suffered from a chronic back condition that caused her severe pain. She was pronounced dead at around 6:07 a.m.

Deputies from the Palm Desert Sheriff's station took over the investigation and interviewed Steve. He told them that he was awoken by the gunshot and that he changed his clothes at least three times before calling 911. Investigators determined it took Steve Clute 40 minutes to call 911.

On the next day, investigators interviewed Steve again, in which they say he changed his story several times. This time he stated that he provided Pamela the revolver she used to kill herself. 

Steve said Pamela was unable to do it herself, but insisted he did not pull the trigger. Steve agreed to go to the Palm Desert station with investigators.  

Under Miranda, Steve said he had given Pamela the revolver as an option to end the pain she was going through based on previous discussions they had about using the revolver as an option.

On Monday, the district attorney's office confirmed that Steve Clute is facing the charge of aiding, advising or encouraging another person to commit suicide

Pamela Clute was a mathematics professor at UC Riverside, the alma mater of the educator and her husband, and also served as assistant vice chancellor and UCR Foundation trustee at the time of her death.

Clute, 69, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

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