LANCASTER, California -- A COVID-19 patient accused of beating a fellow patient to death inside Antelope Valley Hospital has been charged with murder, authorities said Wednesday.
The gruesome murder happened the morning of Dec. 17. Investigators say 37-year-old Jesse Martinez beat his 82-year-old roommate at the Lancaster facility, where both men were being treated for COVID-19.
"The suspect became upset when the victim started to pray. He then struck the victim with an oxygen tank," a sheriff's department statement said.
The victim, who did not personally know the suspect, died the day after the attack, officials added.
Martinez is facing the murder charge with a hate crime enhancement and elder abuse. His bail was set at $1 million and he is scheduled to appear in Antelope Valley Court on Monday.