Elderly Man Will Face No Charges After TV Argument Led to Death

An elderly man will face no criminal charges after he argued with another man in an assisted living facility in Virginia over whether to turn off a television, pushed him and that man later died.

The 77-year-old man, who prosecutors did not name, pushed 82-year-old Hunter Alexander on Oct. 24 inside the Sunrise of Alexandria assisted living facility, Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Alexandria Bryan Porter said in a statement released Wednesday.

Alexander and the man argued about turning off a TV in a residential unit. The man pushed Alexander, and Alexander fell to the ground. He fractured his hip during the fall. The injury led to cardiac complications.

Two days later, Alexander died.

Porter said he will not seek a grand jury indictment against the 77-year-old man who pushed Alexander because there was no evidence the man intended to harm Alexander and he suffers from severe dementia.

"If the 77-year old were charged, the facts and my experience suggest that his dementia would cause him to immediately be deemed incompetent by the court," Porter said in a statement. "Given his mental state, there is no reasonable probability that attempts to restore him to competency would be successful. In other words, if he were charged is it extremely unlikely that he would ever be brought to trial."

A detective tried to interview the man, but he seemed unable to understand who the detective was or what he was investigating, Porter said. Police reviewed documents on his mental health that described a severe cognitive disability. 

The man was moved to a facility in another state that is "capable of providing him the care and attention he needs," Porter said.

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