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Elderly man beaten at Spring Hill assisted living facility dies of injuries

Published May 6, 2014

SPRING HILL — An 83-year-old man who was beaten at an assisted living facility with a tire jack by an off-duty security guard in late March has died, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Joseph Giambrone was one of two residents attacked by 22-year-old Brian Christopher Murphy at Atria Evergreen Woods, authorities said. Giambrone never regained consciousness after the March 27 incident.

Now that Giambrone has died, detectives will work with the State Attorney's Office to decide which charges to file, according to the Sheriff's Office. Murphy initially was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated assault. He is being held without bail at the Hernando County Detention Center.

The Sheriff's Office gave this account of the attack:

Murphy, who worked weekend nights and was not on duty, parked his car a few hundred yards from the building at 7030 Evergreen Woods Trail and sneaked in about 12:30 a.m.

He entered the room of 88-year-old Miriam Lepp and threatened to harm her if she didn't stay quiet. He then walked down the hall to Giambrone's room and beat him in the face with the jack.

Lepp pressed her call button and summoned a nurse, who arrived to find Murphy beating Lepp with the jack. The nurse called security guard Jonathan Sousa.

When Sousa arrived, Murphy took a swing at him. Sousa grabbed and held Murphy until deputies arrived.

On Monday, authorities said Lepp is still recovering.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said investigators believe Murphy was living in his car, was addicted to or under the influence of drugs and might have been looking for food.

He said the attacks were "beyond comprehension."

In a statement, Atria officials said Murphy passed a required background check and drug screening before he was hired about four months before the attack.