Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Case # 10ZF0094
August 17, 2012
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
83-YEAR-OLD MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING 94-YEAR-OLD ROOMMATE IN REHAB CENTER BY REPEATEDLY HITTING HIM IN HEAD WITH WOODEN ROD
SANTA ANA – An 83-year-old man was convicted today of murdering his 94-year-old roommate by repeatedly hitting him in the head with a wooden rod while the two were living in a rehabilitation center recovering from hip surgeries. William Leo McDougall, Laguna Woods, pleaded guilty to one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. His sentencing is scheduled Oct. 26, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On Oct. 1, 2010, McDougall was recovering from a hip surgery at Palm Terrace Healthcare Center in Laguna Woods. McDougall became angry with his 94-year-old roommate, Manh Van Nguyen, because he thought that Nguyen was singing in their room in Vietnamese while also recovering from a hip surgery.
McDougall took a wooden rod from the closet in their room and hit Nguyen multiple times in the head with the rod. A nurse, who had been approaching the room, reported the incident to staff members, who restrained McDougall.
The victim was taken to the hospital, where he died due to blunt force trauma to the head.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.