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The man who allegedly beat a 61-year-old nursing home resident in Illinois with a walker is no longer facing murder charges, according to court records.
Instead, a grand jury only indicted William Paschall, 71, on two counts of aggravated assault in the death of Michael Pappas at Salem Village Nursing and Rehabilitation in Joliet, outside of Chicago, records say. The grand jury did not indict Paschall on the murder charges. The Shaw Local News Network reported an autopsy determined the cause of Pappas’ death to be “undetermined.”
As Law&Crime previously reported, the Joliet Police Department was called to the nursing home around 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 for a report of an assault on the sixth floor. When they arrived they found the unresponsive victim in a laundry room.
Detectives said they later learned Paschall had become angry at Pappas. A staff member tried to intervene, but Paschall allegedly punched the victim in the head multiple times and used the victim’s walker to strike him. The victim fell to the floor, authorities said. Staff called 911 and rendered medical aid. Pappas was pronounced dead.
Patch.com, citing the Will County Prosecutor’s Office, reported Paschall was set off after finding feces on top of the washing machine. Paschall reportedly yelled “die mother——” while he was beating Pappas with the walker. He allegedly said “he has a temper,” likening it to a “stick of dynamite.” Nursing home staff said Paschall frequently argued with them and residents.
Paschall was detained and taken to the Joliet Police Department for an interview. The Will County States’ Attorney’s Office originally approved charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a person 60 years of age or older. He’s at the Will County Jail without bond. The nursing home declined to comment.
Pappas’ family told Chicago ABC affiliate WLS that they are seeking answers to how this could have happened. Kayla Martinez, the victim’s niece, told the outlet that the nursing home called to say he had gotten into an altercation and hit his head. They didn’t say he was violently attacked. Martinez, who only identified her uncle as Michael, called it “a very senseless act.”
“I want to know why? Why wasn’t the fight stopped?” Martinez said. “They told us there was a male supervisor that couldn’t break up the fight because they were quote unquote ‘two really big guys.’ They didn’t do their part. My uncle was the kindest person you could meet. He would give you the shirt off his back even if he didn’t have one.”