Pennsylvania dementia patient accused in nursing home death

June 6, 2013 7:45:46 AM PDT
A man with dementia is behind bars amid allegations that he killed another dementia patient in a central Pennsylvania nursing home.

Fifty-three-year-old Carl Smith is charged with killing 85-year-old Margaret Lechleiter in April. Both lived at the Weatherwood Nursing Home in Weatherly, Carbon County.

A nurse said at a hearing Wednesday that was a fire in the facility, residents were evacuated and then brought back in. She says that's when Smith pushed Lechleiter during an argument.

She fell, hit her head and later died.

The magisterial district judge decided that police had enough cause to arrest Smith.

Defense attorney Steve Vlossak says his client has dementia so he didn't realize what he was doing.

Smith is in prison while his lawyer appeals to a higher court to dismiss the charges.