William Leo McDougall, 83, Convicted of Killing Manh Ban Nguyen, 94, over Vietnamese Singing

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From his wheelchair at the defense table, 83-year-old William Leo McDougall of Laguna Woods pleaded guilty to murdering his convalescent home roommate because he believed the 94-year-old man was singing in Vietnamese.

As part of a plea deal with the court, McDougall is expected to be sentenced Oct. 26 to 16 years to life in state prison, which will then likely be suspended to lifetime probation.

Recovering from hip surgery at Palm Terrace Healthcare Center, a 99-bed residential facility in Laguna Woods, McDougall apparently could not take Manh Ban Nguyen's singing in Vietnamese any longer. Late the night of Oct. 1, 2010, McDougall took a metal bar from the closet used for hanging clothes and repeatedly bonked Nguyen in the head. Nguyen was later pronounced dead at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center.

Manh Ban Nguyen, OC Homicide No. 46: 94-Year-Old Allegedly Beaten to Death by 81-Year-Old Roommate in Nursing Home

The thing is, Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh maintains Nguyen could barely speak when he was among the living, let alone sing. And Palm Terrace staff members said Nguyen and McDougall didn't appear to have a history of tension, there were never any reports of incidents involving them. Truly baffling.

McDougall pleaded not guilty to the murder charges against him at arraignment. Held in lieu of $1 million bail at the time, he was indicted by the grand jury in November 2010 for murder with a sentencing enhancement for use of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Maximum penalty: 26 years to life in state prison.

William Leo McDougall, 81-Year-Old Accused of Murdering 94-Year-Old Rehab Roommate, Due in Court Today

Those are the same counts McDougall pleaded guilty to today in Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals' Santa Ana courtroom. Members of his family and Nguyen's wept in the galley as McDougall voiced his plea.

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20 comments
Olddy
Olddy

Old people, what can you do? There this old dude I know, he loves to walk around in stores and banks and places like that, and helps himself to coffee and food, he might sit down and enjoy it for a while, and then when someone comes along and says "em...sir? What are you doing, you`re not allowed back here" he simply plays confused and walks out. But he is not confused, he knows exactly what he`s doing, but he`s almost 90 so why should he care?  Also, he seem to lose all ability to hear when it fits him, in reality he can hear just fine. Hilarious old man, impossible to stop him.

bluesnail1995
bluesnail1995

romney's new weapon to get votes from the gay population. my chihuahua has more charm.

bluesnail1995
bluesnail1995

uncontroled rage. give him boot camp and send him to syria fast.

Jim Smith
Jim Smith

ironically, a interface person....

Jim Smith
Jim Smith

i remember this.... a few weeks later country villa seal beach had a husband kill his wife with a 38. a rehab assist disarmed him quietly. THAT took cahoneees

Michael McCracken
Michael McCracken

"McDougall took a metal bar from the closet used for hanging clothes and repeatedly bonked Nguyen in the head." Bonked?

Peyton Farquhar
Peyton Farquhar

Is it just me or does there seem to an exponential increase geezer vs. geezer muders?

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

Why do I picture a future Coker at the convalescent home singing Styx - Come Sail Away? 

tarafromoc
tarafromoc

Really OC Weekly? Describing the act of killing another person as "bonking" them in the head with a metal bar, was the best verb you could come up with? A Pulitzer is not in your future.  

MatthewTCoker
MatthewTCoker topcommenter

 @20ftjesus I don't get the beef with bonk. Am I the only one watching the old "Batman" reruns?

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