A first-year doctoral student accused of stabbing his wife to death ended his own life in Monroe County Jail last weekend.

Optics student Steve Maples, 33, used a bedsheet to hang himself from the bars of his jail cell, jail superintendent Bob Squires said. He was discovered Friday at 5:09 a.m.

?He was found hanging. We cut him down, began CPR and called an ambulance,? Squires said.

Maples died at 2:38 a.m. Saturday at Genesee Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Janine DeCook said. He remained under guard during his entire stay.

Maples was taken off life support, said Paul Siena, an investigator in the Monroe County Sheriff?s Office major crimes unit.

?There came a point in time when the doctors told his father that his chances of recovery were very, very slim,? Siena said. ?He then agreed to withdraw him from life support.?

His wife Robin Maples, 39, was found with multiple stab wounds Monday, April 9, in the parking lot of Boston Market on Jefferson Road, where she worked.

She was alive at the scene and died Wednesday, Siena said.

Steve Maples was initially charged with first-degree assault and second-degree attempted murder. When Robin Maples died, the charges were upgraded to second-degree murder.

Maples would have faced 25 years to life in prison, Siena said.

Once in jail, Maples was examined by a mental health expert and was taken off suicide watch, Squires said.

His official cause of death was asphyxiation due to hanging, said a spokesman from the Monroe County Medical Examiner?s Office.

The family had two boys, ages 4 and 6, who have been placed with out-of-state family members. Siena said the family had been experiencing problems. The Sheriff?s Office is closing its external investigation.

Professor of Optics Andrew Berger, who worked with Maples, said that he was a reserved student who had recently decided to devote his work to the field of biomedical applications.

?He was on the quiet side, but I wouldn?t say he was shy ? just that he had a slightly more measured pace,? Berger said.

Berger said Maples often brought his children to school with him and watched them at home during the night.

?It was a great shock. He was not someone who seemed gloomy,? he said. ?He was excited about the direction his life was headed in and was very much talking about what would happen in the future.?

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