WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Spencer man is now facing a murder charge after allegedly attacking a fellow patient in a UMass Memorial Medical Center psychiatric ward.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early said the victim, 31-year-old Ratna Bhattarai of Worcester, died early Thursday at the hospital.
Early said 23-year-old Aldo Dunphe will be arraigned Friday on a murder charge. Dunphe had pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges including assault to murder. The prosecutor said a dangerousness hearing that had been scheduled Friday won't be held. Dunphe is being held without bail.
Police say Dunphe told investigators he tried to smother Bhattarai with a pillow, then choked and beat the man because he reminded Dunphe of his father. Dunphe allegedly stuffed a wash cloth in the victim's mouth and filled his nose with paper towels to stop his breathing. Police say he only stopped because he thought the other man was dead.
Dunphe's lawyer tells The Telegram & Gazette his client had some type of "psychotic break" that led to the alleged attack.