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Caretaker charged with second-degree murder in connection with patient’s death

OKLAHOMA CITY – A caretaker accused of brutally assaulting a man he was supposed to be caring for has now been charged in the man’s death.

“On Dec. 14, officers responded to St. Anthony’s Hospital,” Officer Megan Morgan, with the Oklahoma City Police Department, told KFOR.

Officers learned that 75-year-old Michael Richard was allegedly assaulted by his caretaker, 55-year-old Rocky Rhines.

Richard’s ex-wife told police that she had hired Rhines to take care of her ex-husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s and paranoia.

She told police that Rhines showed up to her home on Dec. 14 and claimed that Richard had attacked him. When she went to check on her ex-husband, she found him sitting at a table with visible injuries to his head.

He was rushed to the hospital, but died from his injuries on Dec. 28.

When confronted by detectives, Rhines claimed that Richard had attacked him and tackled him to the floor.

Rhines told police that he grabbed the victim's head and squeezed it in an effort to get Richard off of him. According to the affidavit, Rhines said he also hit the man in the head with his open hand about 30 times.

However, Rhines did not call an ambulance.

He was arrested on a complaint of abuse and neglect by a caretaker.

Following Richard's death, Rhines was charged with second-degree murder.