Kurt had beaten his younger wife and threatened her several times with a gun to her head, online news website Blick reported.
The pair had met after Melanie’s previous boyfriend died in a motorcycle accident, and Kurt had separated from his first wife. They were married in 1997.
“We already thought at the wedding that things would not go well. The age difference was so big,” a friend of Kurt’s told Blick.
Kurt soon became jealous, not wanting Melanie to work in case she met another man. The two began to argue a lot.
He threatened to kill her several times, including by text message, and was arrested by the police on two occasions.
Finally in November 2009, Melanie fled the house, telling Kurt she wanted a divorce.
Kurt is now furious that as a pensioner, having paid for Melanie for 18 years, he is on only a small allowance.
“I can not even raise more money because everything is in the house and I have to live under the poverty line," he told Blick.
Since her flight, Melanie has got together with a new boyfriend, moving in with him in at his house in Honau. Terrified of her ex, she asked neighbours to keep her whereabouts secret. In November last year, she gave birth to a little girl.
But somehow, Kurt found her. He shot her as she tried to drive away on Thursday morning.
The bullet found its way into her stomach but did not kill her. She was able to crawl from behind the wheel back into the house where she called emergency services.
Kurt drove up to Goldau, in canton Schwyz, where he calmly ordered food. Blick was able to contact him by telephone before he was arrested.
He pretended to know nothing of the shooting.