82-year-old COVID patient fatally beaten for praying

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Yesterday morning the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department issued a statement concerning a death investigation that began at the Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California on December 17.

 

According to their statement, the attack happened at approximately 9:45 am inside of a dual occupancy hospital room where an unidentified 82-year-old Hispanic man and 37-year-old Jessie Martinez were both being treated for Covid-19.  Martinez and the victim did not know one another.

 

"Detectives have learned that the victim was at Antelope Valley Hospital receiving treatment for Covid-19.  He was housed in a two-person room inside the hospital with the suspect, who was also there receiving treatment.  The suspect became upset when the victim started to pray. He then struck the victim with an oxygen tank."

 

He succumbed to his injuries at 10:20 am the following morning.

 

Martinez has been arrested and charged with murder, a hate crime enhancement, and elder abuse.  He was discharged from the Antelope Valley Hospital and booked into the county jail where he remains in lieu of $1 million bail.  He is scheduled to appear in court on December 28.

 

The investigation remains on-going and the Sheriff's Department is asking that anyone with information contact the Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

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