Dementia patient fatally beaten at health care facility

RANDOLPH, Mass. — Authorities say an 86-year-old resident of a Massachusetts nursing home's dementia ward has been beaten to death and his 58-year-old roommate is the suspect.

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said in a statement that it appears as if James Schappell was beaten Tuesday morning with a piece of furniture in the room at the CareOne facility in Randolph.

He was taken to the hospital and died Wednesday night.

His roommate was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and taken to Quincy District Court for arraignment. But after an evaluation by the court clinician, a judge declined to arraign and sent the suspect for further competency evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

He is due back in court Sept. 21.

The investigation is ongoing.