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Yarmouth man faces murder charge for beating

November 14, 2013

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — A Yarmouth man charged with murder for allegedly beating his 70-year-old neighbor with a baseball bat has pleaded not guilty.

John Looney was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Wednesday in Barnstable Superior Court.

Prosecutors say the 52-year-old Looney beat Richard Steele in March 2012. Steele suffered multiple skull fractures and remained in a Boston hospital for several months until he died Dec. 15 from a traumatic brain injury.

The murder charge was added following Steele’s death.

The Cape Cod Times (http://bit.ly/1e5hxx8 ) reports that Looney already has been deemed competent to stand trial but is undergoing a second mental health evaluation to determine if he was criminally responsible at the time of the alleged attack.

Looney’s attorney says his client has a long history of mental illness.

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Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, http://www.capecodonline.com

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