A Sedalia man accused in the fatal beating of a fellow Veterans Administration hospital patient has been cleared of murder after a prosecutor accepted his insanity plea.
Boone County prosecutor Dan Knight dropped a first-degree murder charge Monday against 33-year-old Rudy Perez, of Sedalia. Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler then sentenced Perez to a maximum security mental facility at Fulton State Hospital.
Perez was charged in the Feb. 1 killing of 78-year-old Robert O. Hill at Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia. Hill, of Warsaw, was a patient, and Perez was there on a 96-hour involuntary commitment from Pettis County.
Monday’s actions came after a second doctor diagnosed Perez with schizophrenia. The prosecutor says Perez had a history of hallucinations and paranoid delusions dating back to 1999.