published Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Mental patient fatally beaten in Nashville hospital

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities are investigating the beating death of a patient at a Nashville mental hospital.

The Tennessean reports James M. Hodge was attacked by another patient early Thursday morning at Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute, then died of his injuries during surgery later that day.

Police believe the 53-year-old was attacked by fellow patient Thaddeus Odom, 60.

Odom was in two altercations with Hodge, police say, the second lasting just 30 seconds. The assault was witnessed by two staff members who were nearby and tried to help.

Odom has been segregated from the rest of the population at the facility until the investigation is complete.

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