Topeka A mental health group home resident has been charged with the murder of an 85-year-old Topeka woman, authorities said.
Hal C. Bates, 38, was charged Thursday in Shawnee County District Court with one count each of premeditated first-degree murder or, in the alternative, felony murder.
He is accused of killing Elizabeth Cowperthwaite, whose body was found late Tuesday in the courtyard of town homes in southwest Topeka.
About 10:15 p.m. Tuesday group home staff members reported a man was attacking patients and employees.
Soon afterward, a man forcibly entered Cowperthwaite's apartment. She pronounced dead at the scene.