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Man beaten with hammer in Tacoma dies of injuries

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Dec. 13, 2012 at 10:07 am |
December 13, 2012 10:11 am

A 44-year-old Tacoma man beaten with a hammer earlier this month has died of his injuries.

Charles Escarcega was taken off life support Monday, Tacoma police said.

His nephew, 24-year-old Matthew Baker, was initially charged with first-degree assault with a deadly weapon enhancement after the Dec. 1 attack at the family’s home in the 3500 block of South Madison Street. He is expected to be arraigned on new charges this afternoon.

Charging papers give this account:

Baker, who had been acting “erratically” lately, and his mother recently moved into the house where Escarcega and his mother lived.

On the day of the attack, Baker’s behavior prompted his family to call representatives from Good Samaritan Hospital to come talk to him but he refused to cooperate and locked himself in a room. That night, Baker’s mother asked him to shut down his computer and went to bed.

The power went out shortly afterward and she went downstairs after hearing a door slam. After tripping over a hammer in the kitchen, she grabbed a flashlight and went looking for her son.

She found Escarcega, her brother, bleeding and unresponsive in his recliner. He suffered skull fractures and bleeding in the brain.

Officers called to the scene found fuses had been removed from the house’s power box. Baker was found walking on Union Avenue. He told police his uncle had tried to break into his room to attack him.

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