South Carolina nursing home resident accused of killing 89-year-old roommate

Donald Pressley is in jail on a first-degree murder charge for allegedly killing his 89-year old roommate inside a nursing home.

Police said a brutal beating inside Anson Health and Rehabilitation ended up taking the life of an 89-year-old Air Force veteran.

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“It’s sad for something like this to happen inside of a nursing home,” Chief Thedis Spencer said.

Spencer said his officers responded to Anson Health and Rehabilitation on Aug. 14 after one resident reportedly beat another who was placed in the same room.

After 10 days in the hospital, Bill Hooks died Thursday from his injuries. Donald Pressley is charged with first-degree murder.

“(Pressley) was transported also to the hospital for a mental evaluation,” Spencer said.

State and federal inspectors have cited the nursing home multiple times, including for incidents involving violent behavior.

Just last year, state inspectors found numerous deficiencies, including faliure to “follow the plan of care for evaluation by a mental health provider to address assaultive behavior,” and “obtain a psychiatric consultation as ordered to address an unnamed resident’s assaultive behavior.”

The federal government has fined the center twice in three years, totaling more than $83,000.

“I don’t think it’s a safe environment, and I don’t think it has been for quite some time,” Anson County resident Ann Poplin said.

Poplin said her aunt stayed at Anson Health and Rehabilitation last year. Poplin said she moved her aunt after complaining to the state about negligence.

“I think somebody needs to go in with a close eye and figure out who’s doing their job and who isn’t and get rid of the ones who aren’t,” Poplin said.

Hooks’s family members said Monday that his widow is still living at the same nursing home. They’re deciding whether to move her to another facility.

Steve Burroughs, administrator of Anson Health and Rehabilitation, issued the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the death of one of our residents and send our heartfelt condolences to his family for their loss.

"Following an incident at our facility where a resident sustained injuries, we immediately treated the resident and arranged for transport and further treatment at a local hospital. We quickly alerted local authorities and the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services in accordance with state regulations."

"Our top priority has always been and remains to be the safety and health of our residents. The staff at Anson Health and Rehabilitation will continue to cooperate with local and state officials during their investigation."

A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Health and Human Services said they could not comment on “possible pending investigations.”

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