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Victim in assisted living beating dies from injuries, deputies say


Published:   |   Updated: May 5, 2014 at 03:41 PM

One of two elderly victims who were viciously beaten at a Brooksville assisted living facility by a former security guard has died, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

Joseph Giambrone, 83, died at Hospice on Saturday. He never regained consciousness after the attack, which happened in the early morning hours of March 27.

The second victim, Mariam Lepp, 88, continues to recover, according to the sheriff’s office.

Brian Christopher Murphy, 22, likely faces additional charges after Giambrone’s death.

Murphy was initially arrested on charges of two counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after attacking the victims with a scissor jack, deputies said.

According to the initial arrest report:

Murphy most likely broke into Atria at Evergreen Woods shortly after midnight. He first went into Miriam Lepp’s room, and told the 88-year-old resident to not say anything “or he would do harm to her or kill her.”

Next, Murphy went into Joseph Giambrone’s room, and started beating the 83-year-old man with a heavy jack, which is used to lift vehicles when replacing a tire.

During the attack, Lepp pressed her call button. When nurse Amanda Sweatt responded to Lepp’s room, she saw Murphy beating her with the jack, and backed up and called the security guard on duty.

When Jonathan Sousa arrived, he immediately recognized Murphy as the weekend guard. Murphy took a swing at Sousa. Sousa avoided being hit and held Murphy down until deputies arrived about four minutes after a 911 call was placed.

“Seasoned detectives said that it was one of the more horrific crimes that they’ve seen, apparently very bloody and very gruesome,” Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said at the time. “It’s really a miracle they’re still alive, frankly.”

About 12 hours into the investigation, Nienhuis said Murphy’s motives for the attack were still unclear. Investigators believe Murphy was under the influence of drugs, or addicted to drugs. The part-time security guard had been homeless about a month, Nienhuis said, and part of the motivation for breaking into the facility might have been to get food.

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