Nursing home resident not charged in roommate’s death

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The nursing home resident who punched another resident early this year, leading to his death this summer, will not be charged in the case, the Kent County prosecutor decided.

Dan McBrian, an 81-year-old Army veteran, was struck by his 61-year-old roommate the Samaritas Senior Living Center off 32nd Street on Jan. 31. He suffered a broken jaw and then several complications, and ultimately died July 11. The Kent County medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker decided Wednesday that the 61-year-old is not criminally liable for his actions because he has dementia.

Becker argued that the man’s sudden aggression toward McBrian can be attributed to his illness. The man was diagnosed a few years ago and has since had a guardian appointed for him. In April, a doctor noted he was disoriented and had impaired judgment and impulse control.

Becker said there would be no point in charging the man, since “there is nothing more the criminal justice system would do” because of his mental state.

“I don’t know any case where it (dementia) gets better,” Anastase Markou, a criminal defense attorney in Kalamazoo, told 24 Hour News 8 after the decision came down.

Markou, who’s been a criminal defense attorney at Levine & Levine for 24 years, agreed with the decision. He said that it’s clear the suspect suffered from dementia years before the incident and couldn’t properly defend himself in court.

“Now it’s really up to the mental health professionals,  the nursing homes (and) hospitals to make a decision to make sure that fellow patients are safe from a person who might pose a danger,” Markou said.

24 Hour News 8 is not using the name of the 61-year-old because he does not face criminal charges.

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