Man accused in psychiatric hospital beating to stand trial - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man accused in psychiatric hospital beating to stand trial

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused of attacking and fatally beating his roommate at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital must stand trial on murder and other charges, a judge ruled Thursday.

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 defendant alerted hospital staff March 17 that the victim was down on his face and said he had fallen. But Schafer eventually admitted he had slammed the victim's face twice into the ground, witnesses testified during a morning preliminary hearing.

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

San Diego police Acting Detective Carl Ellison testified that after the incident, he questioned Schafer about abrasions on his knuckles and the defendant said the injuries were old.

Schafer, 32, gave some "delusional" and "off-the-wall" statements before admitting that he beat the victim, Ellison testified.

The defendant said he knew what he did was wrong, but said King "had it coming to him" because he knew too much about someone in Schafer's past, according to Ellison.

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

Schafer also is charged with misdemeanor battery for a March 14 attack on a jail cellmate.

Following Thursday's hearing, Judge Michael Smyth ruled that enough evidence was presented for Schafer to stand trial.

A Superior Court arraignment was set for Aug. 21.

THIS IS AN UPDATE TO THE PREVIOUS STORY BELOW.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A preliminary hearing is scheduled Thursday for a man accused in the beating death of his roommate at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital.

Bart Clement Schafer faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder 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 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. He 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.

Schafer is also charged with misdemeanor battery for a separate attack on a patient.

At the end of today's preliminary hearing, Judge Michael Smyth will decide if enough evidence was presented for Schafer to stand trial.

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