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73-year-old grandfather beaten to death by hospital roommate in California

LONG BEACH, Calif. — A 73-year-old man was beaten to death by his hospital roommate, police in Long Beach, California said Monday, Feb. 10.

Francisco Sanchez, 74, died Sunday morning, according to Long Beach police. His official cause of death was under investigation by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Police said Sanchez was attacked on Jan. 31, just hours after being admitted at College Medical Center for a bladder infection. His son said a nurse found his father on the floor, bleeding to death.

As of Monday, it wasn’t clear if anything prompted the attack or how hospital staff was alerted, but police identified the suspect as Reginald Panthier, 37, of Long Beach, who was also a patient at College Medical Center and was sharing Sanchez’s room at the time.

The father of eight and grandfather of 24, Sanchez sustained major injuries to his upper torso and was taken to another hospital in critical condition. He died of his injuries Sunday morning, police said.

Panthier was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm, and producing great bodily harm against an elder immediately after the Jan. 31 attack. Long Beach police said they planned to amend those charges with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in the wake of Sanchez’s death.

Panthier was being held on $1 million bail.

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