Police: OKC man dies at hospital after being assaulted by his home healthcare aid
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
A home healthcare aid has been arrested and accused of murdering a man in his care.
The Oklahoma City Police Department reports that on Dec. 14 officers were called to St. Anthony's Hospital in reference to an assault. Officers learned that 75-year-old Michael Richard had been assaulted by his home healthcare aid at his residence in the 2500 block of NW 32 Street.
A warrant for Richard's caretaker, 55-year-old Rocky Allen Rhines, was issued and led to Rhines' arrest for abuse and neglect by a caretaker Dec. 27 in Perry. Richard died Dec. 28 from his injuries. Rhines now faces a complaint of first degree murder.
Court documents show that police met with Richard's ex-wife, and Power of Attorney, Linda Joyce as he was at the hospital. She told police that Richard suffers from Alzheimer's Disease and that she takes care of him.
Joyce reported that she hired Rhines to act as Richard's live-in caretaker and that he stayed at the home from Sunday to Friday. She stated that Rhines was recommended to her by a woman that lives in Perry. The Perry woman later told police Rhines was homeless when she met him and that he had been allowed to stay at her home.
Joyce told police that on Dec. 14 Rhines came to her home, which is only a few blocks away from Richard's home, and told her Richard was out of control and had attacked him. He also stated that she needed to go check on Richard. Joyce noted that Rhines did not have any visible injuries.
When she arrived at Richard's home she found him sitting at his table and bleeding from his head. Joyce wanted to take Richard to the hospital, but Richard wanted to eat breakfast before leaving.
Richard reportedly stated that Rhines had attacked him and stole his wallet.
Rhines was tracked down by police in Perry. When officers spoke to him he claimed that Richard threw coffee at him and took him to the ground. Rhines allegedly admitted to grabbing the victim's head and squeezing it and hitting Richard in the head approximately 30 times. He also allegedly admitted to striking Richard with a bag. He then locked Richard in the home and went to speak with Joyce.
Court records show that Richard was suffering from a brain bleed while at the hospital.
Richard's death is considered the 90th homicide of 2017 in Oklahoma City.