A 47-year-old Florida man accused of suffocating his ex-girlfriend's 95-year-old boyfriend at a nursing home in Florida was charged with first-degree murder this week, NBC News reports.
William Hawkins, 47, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder more than three weeks after he allegedly killed Robert E. Morell, 95, at the Tiffany Hall Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Port St. Lucie, an arrest warrant states.
Police were called to the nursing home at around midnight on Jan. 5 after a nurse called 911 to report that someone had "tried to hurt a patient," a statement from the department said. The nurse told police that when she walked passed Morell's room, she saw another man was sitting on top of the 95-year-old's chest, holding a pillow over his face.
When police arrived, the discovered Morell has died and the suspect had fled the scene.
Hawkins became the prime suspect after Morell's 57-year-old girlfriend had called the nursing home hours before the incident, and told employees to refuse Hawkins entry to the nursing home because she was afraid Hawkins might hurt the 95-year-old. The girlfriend told police that she and Morell had an open relationship and that she'd dated Hawkins shortly after Morell was placed in the nursing home because of eating problems that required he be fed through a tube.
The girlfriend told police that Hawkins broke into her home through a window the night before, waking her. She said Hawkins noticed the needles and insulin she used to treat her cat and suggested she kill Morell by injecting the insulin into his feeding tube. She refused and Hawkins then allegedly stole her car.
According to the arrest warrant, Hawkins told police he'd been romantically involved at one point with the 95-year-old's younger girlfriend for the last 15 years.
Hawkins was arrested the next day on burglary and auto theft charges while detectives built their case against him for Morell's murder. Police later charged Hawkins with premeditated murder, jail records show.
According to TCPalm, who obtained an unredacted copy of the police report, Hawkins' sister cooperated with police and wore a wire while he confessed to the murder. When Hawkins was confronted, he the confessed to detectives, informing them that he had thought about murdering Morell for some time and that by killing him, he had "accomplished" his "life's goal."
When asked how that made him feel, Hawkins reportedly responded by comparing the murder to climbing Mount Everest.
"(L)et’s say in your life you wanted to climb Mount Everest, OK? And all your life you trained and trained and trained to climb Mount Everest. OK? And finally you climbed it, in all your life, finally you made it to the top, when you made it to the top, how would you feel?"