What should the punishment be for murder of a senior by another senior residing in an assisted living facility?

An 87-year-old man was charged Monday in the beating death of a fellow resident at a Columbia assisted living community, Howard County's first homicide of 2009, according to police. Earl Lafayette Wilder was charged with second-degree murder and first- and second-degree assault in the attack against James W.... show more An 87-year-old man was charged Monday in the beating death of a fellow resident at a Columbia assisted living community, Howard County's first homicide of 2009, according to police.

Earl Lafayette Wilder was charged with second-degree murder and first- and second-degree assault in the attack against James W. Brown, 91, who died Saturday of head trauma, according to authorities. Police said he had been under hospice care after the attack last week.

Officers were called about 4 p.m. Aug. 17 to the Harmony Hall assisted living home in the 6300 block of Cedar Lane for a reported assault, according to police. Wilder and Brown -- both residents of the community -- were sitting outside when Wilder began striking Brown in the head before facility staff intervened, police said.

Investigators do not believe Wilder and Brown knew one another before the attack, which police said was apparently unprovoked. Brown was initially treated at Laurel Regional Hospital before entering hospice care, according to police.

Wilder was taken to Howard County General Hospital for an evaluation after the attack. Police said the charging warrant would serve as a detainer for Wilder, who was being held at an undisclosed facility pursuant to a court order.
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