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81-year-old O.C. man charged with killing 94-year-old roommate at healthcare center

October 4, 2010 |  3:48 pm

MCDOUGAL, WILLIAM LEO An 81-year-old man was charged with using a metal rod to kill his 94-year-old roommate at a Laguna Woods rehabilitation center, authorities said Monday.

William Leo McDougall of Laguna Woods was charged with one felony count of murder and faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

McDougall was recovering from hip surgery at the Palm Terrace Healthcare Center when he allegedly became angry with Manh Van Nguyen, who had begun singing in Vietnamese, according to prosecutors. Nguyen was also recovering from hip surgery when the attack occurred. He was pronounced dead at a hospital, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors allege that McDougall took a metal rod from the closet and began striking Nguyen on the head. The Oct. 5 incident was witnessed by a nurse, and the attacker had to be restrained by staff, the district attorney's office said.

McDougall is expected to be arraigned Tuesday at the courthouse in Santa Ana.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: William Leo McDougall. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office