Man indicted in beating death of his hospital roommate
by Madasyn Czebiniak
mczebiniak@annistonstar.com
Nov 07, 2013 | 6679 views |  0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Devonte Raynard Arnold
Devonte Raynard Arnold
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An Anniston man has been indicted on a murder charge in the September beating death of his hospital roommate, according to court records released today.

Devonte Raynard Arnold, 23, of Anniston, was arrested Sept. 16 and charged with attempted murder. The charge later was upgraded to murder after the victim died as a result of the attack.

Police reports and the warrant for Arnold’s arrest identified the victim as Ian Keith Merritt, 47, of Anniston.

A Calhoun County grand jury in October indicted Arnold on the murder charge. He is accused of attacking Merritt in the room they shared at Regional Medical Center. Court records say Arnold used his hands and feet in an attempt to kill Merritt.

Anniston police Capt. Allen George told The Star after the incident that Merritt had been airlifted to UAB Hospital and placed in the intensive care unit. Merritt had surgery Sept. 18, but died from his injuries 10 days later, according to Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown.

The cause of Merritt’s death was blunt-force trauma, Brown said.

George said that on Sept. 16, hospital workers found Merritt lying unresponsive on the floor of the hospital room, bleeding from his head, nose and mouth.

When police arrived, hospital workers were attending to Merritt. Police found Arnold locked in a room across from a nurses’ station, George said.

Arnold has been in the Calhoun County Jail since Sept. 17 and remained there today with bond set at $100,000 by Circuit Judge Debra Jones.

Arnold is set to be arraigned Dec. 19.

Staff writer Madasyn Czebiniak: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @MCzebiniak_Star.

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