Dementia Patient May Face Murder Charges in Death of Fellow Nursing Home Resident

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have charged a 78-year-old dementia patient with assault and are weighing murder charges as well in the death of a fellow nursing home resident.

Raymond Dunmyer, Jr., a resident of the Cambria Care Center in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, is charged in the February 13, 2011, beating death of 70-year-old Theodore Shaw, also a dementia patient. Police say nurses aides discovered Shaw in a pool of blood with Dunmyer slamming a heavy door against his head, according to the ABA Journal.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan said a mental health evaluation will determine whether Dunmyer, now in an undisclosed secure hospital facility, is fit to stand trial. Callihan indicated homicide charges may still be filed against him as a way to get him into a long-term mental health facility, according to the Altoona Mirror.

Dunmyer had been a resident of the nursing home for six months and had not previously been a problem patient, according to a spokesman for the nursing home's operator.