Man pleads not guilty in death of psychiatric hospital roommate - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man pleads not guilty in death of psychiatric hospital roommate

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused in the beating death of his roommate at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital pleaded not guilty Monday to a murder charge.

Bart Clement Schafer faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted in the death of 53-year-old Robert King.

Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said the 32-year-old defendant alerted hospital staff March 17 that the victim was down on his face and said he had fallen. But Schafer eventually admitted that he had slammed the victim's face into the ground, the prosecutor alleged.

King was transported to the hospital with bleeding on the brain and facial fractures and died a week later.

Harvey said the defendant had been committed to the psychiatric hospital because of a recent arrest and had been the victim's roommate for only a short time.

Bail for Schafer, initially arraigned last week on an attempted murder charge, was increased Monday from $250,000 to $750,000.

He will be back in court April 4 for a status conference and April 18 for a preliminary hearing.



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