Two men initially charged with aggravated assault after allegedly beating a 35-year-old man have had those charges upgraded to murder after the victim died as a result of his injuries. Police say that paramedics attempted to transport the man to the hospital following the reported assault, but he refused treatments. However, he was taken to the hospital after two days when his wounds became more serious. He fell into a coma and died soon after being admitted. Officials from the Dallas County medical examiner's office claim the victim died from bleeding in the brain.
Police say the attack stemmed from an incident several days earlier when the victim's roommate was confronted by a 42-year-old woman renting rooms in their building. She reportedly demanded that he vacate the premises, threw heavy objects at him and attacked him an ax. Officers arrested the woman on suspicion of aggravated assault.
The two suspects allegedly forced the victim's roommate to leave the building several days later. When they returned later in the day to find the roommate, they instead discovered the victim. Police claim the two men then proceeded to knock the victim to the floor and began kicking in the head. It is unclear why the men may have attacked the victim or forced his roommate to leave the shared home.
Following the Dallas County medical examiner's autopsy of the victim's body, officials declared the death a homicide and issued a warrant for the two suspects' arrests.
This case illustrates how officials in Texas may upgrade assault charges if an individual injured during a fight eventually dies from his or her wounds, making suspects in such cases subject to much harsher penalties. Although aggravated assault and murder are both first degree felonies in Texas and thus possible sentences of five to 99 years or life in prison, Texas state law allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty in some murder cases.
Source: DallasNews.com, "Two charged with murder after beating linked to attempted eviction at Oak Cliff home," Matt Peterson, Dec. 13, 2012