OKLAHOMA CITY – A caretaker is accused of brutally assaulting a man he was supposed to be caring for, causing the man to die.
Rocky Rhines, 55, is in the Oklahoma County Jail charged with first-degree murder.
“On December 14, officers responded to St. Anthony’s hospital,” said Officer Megan Morgan.
Responding officers learned that the victim, 75-year-old Michael Richard, was allegedly assaulted by Rhines.
Richard’s ex-wife told police she had hired Rhines to take care of her ex-husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s and paranoia.
She reportedly told police that Rhines showed up to her home earlier that day on December 14, acting out of control, claiming the 75-year-old man 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, suffering from a brain bleed.
“On December 28, unfortunately, the victim succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital,” Morgan said.
Rhines told police he was involved in an altercation with Richard on December 14th.
He claimed Richard was acting paranoid, adding that Richard allegedly threw his coffee and tackled Rhines to the floor.
Rhines told police 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.
Rhines told police he was eventually able to get away.
He said that is when he ran to Richard’s ex-wife’s house to tell her what happened.
According to the affidavit, Rhines did not call an ambulance and later left Oklahoma City to go to Perry.
He was arrested on December 27th for abuse and neglect by a caretaker.
However, since Richard passed away from his injuries, he is also facing a charge of first-degree murder.
The family says they hired Rhines to work as Richard’s caregiver in June. A woman who took Rhines in from the streets recommended him to help take care of Richard.
But, previous records show Rhines has a criminal history from DUI, felony burglary and writing bad checks.