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Suspect in VA hospital death seeks treatment

A 33-year-old Sedalia man charged with killing a fellow patient at a Columbia veterans’ hospital wants a transfer from the Boone County Jail to a state mental health hospital in Fulton.

The Columbia Daily Tribune ( ) reports that Rudy Perez Jr. is asking a judge to help provide treatment for psychotic symptoms. Defense attorney David Tyson Smith says Perez is schizophrenic.

Perez is charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 1 beating death of 78-year-old Robert Hill, of Warsaw, at Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital. An arrest warrant said Perez twice attacked Hill at the hospital. Employees initially separated the two, but Perez was allowed to return to a common area where Hill was also sent after being treated for injuries.

A hearing on the transfer request is scheduled for Thursday.

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