FORSYTH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a southern Missouri man told investigators he was either sleepwalking or dreaming when he fatally shot his sleeping ex-wife.

Eldon Ault Jr., 73, is charged in Taney County with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He’s jailed on $500,000 bond.

Investigators allege in court filings that deputies who responded Friday to Ault’s mobile home near Forsyth found Deanna Merritt, 73, — Ault’s ex-wife and girlfriend — dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Ault reportedly told authorities he sleeps with a loaded pistol under his pillow for protection, and that the sound of the gunshot woke him up.

Investigators said Ault told them the victim planned to leave that morning to stay with another former husband.

Online court records don’t show whether Ault has an attorney.