Ernest Rayfield, the 88-year-old Navy veteran who pleaded guilty last week to stabbing his wife to death inside their Springfield home over the summer, is getting out of jail.

At a bail hearing this afternoon, Delaware County Judge James Nilon agreed to release Rayfield to the custody of his son pending his Feb. 22 sentencing for voluntary manslaughter – under the condition that he never be left alone. With Christmas approaching, Nilon said, "My greatest concern is that Mr. Rayfield might hurt himself."

Rayfield, a longtime Springfield resident who worked at Scott Paper for more than 30 years, killed his wife, Mary Agnes, 87, in August by stabbing her in their bedroom then covering her with a blanket, police said. He told responding officers that he "couldn't take it anymore." Rayfield had been caring for his wife, who had Alzheimer's.

In court today, Rayfield, wearing a red prison jumpsuit, had to be assisted out of his chair by two sheriff's deputies. He didn't seem to fully grasp what had happened until his son, Paul, explained it.

"See you in a little bit," his son said. "It's all good, Dad, it's all good. You're coming home."

Read more in tomorrow's Daily News.