Suspect charged with murder after man dies from blow to head at Moccasin Bend

Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute in Chattanooga.

A 38-year-old father of three who was attacked while in a common area at Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute on Oct. 7 died Sunday, and the man suspected of attacking him now faces a murder charge.

Police say Leviticus Avery, 37, hit Kevin Green in the head with an object just before 7 a.m. on Oct. 7 in a day room at the psychiatric hospital.

photo Leviticus Avery

Avery, an inmate at the Hamilton County Jail at the time of the attack, was arrested for vandalism and aggravated assault in July. His criminal history in Hamilton County includes at least 37 charges dating back to 1998. Police added a first-degree murder charge to the list after Green died from his injuries on Sunday.

Green's wife, Heather Green, said her family is still coming to grips with his death.

"We're heartbroken and grieving," she said. "He will be missed."

She declined to speak about the circumstances surrounding her husband's death because of the police investigation.

But police aren't the only department investigating.

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will conduct an internal investigation into Green's death, said spokesman Mike Machak.

He said the "patient-on-patient altercation" started at 6:51 a.m. in a room typically used by patients for watching TV.

"Staff intervened, but not before one patient sustained injuries and was immediately transported to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga," he said in a statement. "Per standard facility procedures, local law enforcement was immediately notified and facility staff is cooperating fully with the investigation."

Green is the 24th person to be killed in Chattanooga so far this year. The 23rd, Angel Evans, 33, was stabbed to death early Friday morning.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or with tips or story ideas.