Last Wednesday, February 9th, 60-year-old Dwayne Anthony Freeman faced his initial court appearance in connection with the rape and murder of a fellow nursing home resident.
An employee of Homestead Healthcare Center entered the room of 80-yr-old Patricia Newnum in the early morning hours of February 2nd to distribute medication. It was then that another resident, Freeman, was discovered on top of Newnum. He appeared to be having sex with the hospice patient while holding a pillow over her face. When confronted, Freeman reportedly smelled of alcohol and “rambled incoherently.” He reacted violently when an empty bottle was found in his room.
Newnum was subsequently declared dead in her bed, and an autopsy later ruled her death a homicide. She had died from asphyxiation due to smothering.
According to prosecutors, Freeman’s story changed several times before he finally admitted to having intercourse with the victim but claimed it was consensual and initiated by Newnum. However, employees of the facility told police that before her death, Newnum was unable to move on her own and her ability to speak was limited. Freeman also had a history of speaking inappropriately to women during the three months he’d lived at the facility. Incredibly, he’d even told staff the night before the assault that he was “going to get me a woman tonight.”
An automatic not-guily plea was entered on Freeman’s behalf Wednesday, and a public defender was assigned to him. It’s unknown at this time if the facility will face negligence charges in connection with Newnum’s death. Local news station WTHR reports that the facility, located at 7465 Madison Avenue, faced more than $100,ooo in federal fines last year. Federal site Medicare.gov states it has received 26 complaints that resulted in citations against Homestead Healthcare Center within the last three years.
Dwayne Freeman is scheduled to appear in court again March 30th.