A Florida nursing home resident confessed to beating and choking to death a 77-year-old woman because he was “mad” at her for entering his room and lying down on his bed, authorities said.
Cliff Mody, 72, was arrested just before 5 p.m. Wednesday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of a fellow resident at the Gold Choice Assisted Living & Memory Care nursing home in Palm Coast, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Staff at the facility called 911 around 2 a.m. Wedneday after Mody allegedly told them he had beaten the woman to death.
Deputies found the victim unconscious and not breathing. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I walked in and he had blood on his hands and she has a busted lip,” a nursing home worker told a 911 dispatcher. “I could look at her and soon as I walked in and knew she was expired and I felt for a pulse and there’s no pulse.”
An autopsy that was performed on the victim determined that she died by manual strangulation.
Mody, who had a history of attacking people, allegedly told deputies that he killed the woman because she had entered his room and lain down next to him on the bed, according to a charging affidavit.
The suspect said that before physically assaulting the unwelcome guest, he told her to leave, but she refused, “so he decided to strike her in the head multiple times with an open hand,” a deputy wrote in the affidavit.
Mody claimed that during the beating, the woman bit his arm several times, but deputies noted that they observed no injuries on his body consistent with this statement.
Mody said that when the woman still would not leave, despite being repeatedly hit, he “decided to forcefully ‘eye-gouge’ her with his finger[s],” according to the affidavit.
The 72-year-old man also continued slapping the woman and bit her on the arm.
According to the court document, the victim asked Mody why he was attacking her, and he replied that he was doing it because she would not exit his room.
“Cliff advised that he then put [the victim] in a choke hold and that he put as much pressure as he could, later admitting to knowing that this action would restrict her airway and possibly kill her,” the affidavit stated.
When the woman stopped breathing, Mody said, he pressed the “call bell” button in his room to summon the staff.
“When asked why Cliff chose to take such violent action, he responded by advising that he was ‘mad,’” the document read.
Officials wrote that the victim had “diminished mental capacity” that caused her to routinely enter the rooms of other residents at the nursing home and try to lie in bed with them.
Deputies pointed out that Mody and the woman had not interacted with one another before Wednesday.
Mody made his initial court appearance Thursday and was ordered jailed without bond. His arraignment was scheduled for June 13.