An elderly man accused of causing the death of his roommate at a Tonawanda assisted living facility was arraigned this morning on a first degree manslaughter charge. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti was in State Supreme Court and tells us more about the case.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An unusual sight in State Supreme Court Wednesday, as 87-year-old Chester Rusek was wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, to answer a manslaughter charge.
The Erie County District Attorney's office says Rusek beat his roommate, 86-year-old Salvatore Trusello, severely with a heavy magnet at the Kenwell DePaul Assisted Living Center in the town of Tonawanda on November 26th.
After spending a month in intensive care, Trusello died December 27th.
"It's a sad case for the victim, it's a sad case for my client. There are no winners in this case," said Barry Dolgoff, Rusek's Attorney.
Wednesday, Dolgoff entered a not guilty plea on Rusek's behalf, and says he thinks the case will go before a jury.
"But no matter which way they decide, it's sad that elderly people are taken to this level and being housed does this to people. And anybody that's housed this way would react differently, and out of the realm of what everybody else considers normal," said Dolgoff.
The prosecutor says Rusek made several admissions to investigators about what he did.
Rusek's attorney says his client has no criminal history, and is just an elderly man the system abandoned.
Rusek is currently in custody at the Erie County Holding Center. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.