Ex-South Texas hospice director convicted of murder

November 2, 2017

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) — The former administrator of a South Texas hospice has been convicted of capital murder and other theft and misuse of funds charges in the January 2015 death of a 96-year-old man whose estate she controlled.

A jury in Edinburg deliberated about six hours before returning its verdict Wednesday night at the trial of Monica Patterson of Harlingen. She was charged with the death of Martin Knell. Knell’s wife had been a patient of the McAllen hospice Patterson managed.

Evidence showed Knell was suffocated so Patterson could gain control of his estate. Defense attorneys argued he willingly and freely signed over power of attorney to Patterson and gave her control of his will.

The murder conviction carries a life without parole sentence. Jurors will decide punishment on the other charges.

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