A patient accused of fatally beating his roomate at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, Calif., has been arrested and charged with murder, elder abuse and a hate crime enhancement, according to the Los Angeles County Sherrif’s Department.
The victim, an 82-year-old man, was being treated for COVID-19 and sharing a room with the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Jesse Martinez. The victim, whose name has not been released, began to pray in his hospital room on Dec 17. That act upset Mr. Martinez, who allegedly struck the victim with an oxygen tank. The man died of his injuries Dec. 18, police said.
Mr. Martinez is being held at the Twin Tower Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, and his bond is set at $1 million. He’s scheduled to appear in court Dec. 28.
Police said the investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the motive is not immediately clear.